But soon I realized that there was more than silence, or that silence was opening to something more than I understood it to be. During this period, whenever I would take a walk into a park or woodland area with trees where I was alone and it was quiet, even when I was on a quiet tree lined street, I would find myself hearing something deeply akin to my feelings when I was with my father, during, and immediately after his death. But ‘heard’ is inaccurate, since I was experiencing this with more than one sense. But “sense,” too, is inaccurate because I was not using my senses in any way I’d understood before. I felt what I want to call a ‘force’, but this word isn’t right, since what I heard was not outside me, but was already present in me, as well as around me. If this begins to sound uncanny, then I err in that.
It was a feeling that was ‘more canny’ than anything I’d previously known. I seemed to hear, or sense or find in my awareness, what I could only call an ‘amplification’ in a tree branch’s stillness, in the turning brightness of leaves reflecting sunlight, and it was the intensity of this experience which took me back to the days I spent with my father as he lay dying in the hospital, when I’d begun to accept that I was in a room where my father was dying, and could feel that the strangest part of this was simply that I was in a room with ‘someone’ dying, and that I was alive in that room.
In the weeks following my mother’s death, I had a similar experience. I had sat in her hospital room for a long time with her body after she died. I wanted to be in the room with her face after her death, which I was surprised to see was different, whiter, calmer, more still, than the face I knew.