The Sounds of Grief



During my recent trip to New York City, I was bombarded with many sounds. The constant noise of that city amazes me and wears me out. While lying in bed late one night and listening to the busyness of life going on around me, I began thinking about all the sounds of grief. Just as with other sounds, individuals will hear different things along their journey. Some sounds will be tuned out while others appear amplified for the listener. However, the sounds I have listed below are likely to be heard by many people who have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Comfort has a distinct sound. Perhaps it is the hushed murmurs of well-wishers. The sound of opening sympathy cards and realizing you truly are thought of by others. Listening to music holding special memories can bring comfort to some. The thoughts and reflections created by hearing these sounds take you back to a time you enjoyed and often long for once again.

Accolades are given at times to the grieving as a way of encouragement. “You are so brave.” “I can’t believe you are handling this so well.” If only people truly knew how you felt on the inside while you put on a brave outward front, they would be less likely to voice these praises as quickly or so frequently. The sound of accolades cascading over your heavy shoulders can be a soothing balm to your aching and weary soul though. Be grateful for them.

The sounds of grief can also include the whispers of defeat and hopelessness. Facing your new life can seem overwhelming and all you hear in your head are the constant and insistent whispers telling you there will never again be joy in your life. You cannot see, feel, nor hear an end to the small voices as your mind refuses to be tamed and turned down. Whispers can be torturous.

Along with these whispers can come an echo of the past. The sound of days gone by bounce off the corners of your mind as if you sit in a canyon. Try as you may, quieting the echo is impossible. It insists on returning at the most inopportune time, bringing you deeper into the grief journey, often accompanied by tears.

Snickers of fear can be a terrifying sound. No one enjoys being laughed at. The imaginary snickers of possible failure and the fear that accompanies those twitters are miserable for someone who is journeying through grief. It is not your fault that you fail to know what needs to be done. Who would have thought you needed to be so prepared and informed. Yet, telling yourself these truths fails to silence the snickers that ring out deep inside your heart and mind.

As you listen to the sounds of grief, strive to make room to hear the sounds of truth and hope. Do not spend so much time listening to the wrong voices that you miss the most important ones! The truth is you are still an important person. You do matter. You are loved and thought of. It may not seem like it. Death has a way of isolating and driving others away. People fail to know what to say so the sounds you hear fail to be the ones that should be said.

On the days you feel you have heard all you can take, open up a favorite book, put on some quiet, peaceful music, or read out-loud from the Bible. Nothing soothes like the hearing of God’s Word. You are His beloved. Let that be the last thing you hear before placing your head on your pillow tonight.

“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…..” Song of Songs 6:3 (NIV)

Until next time –


Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!


Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.