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A Time When Silence is Golden
Vol 7 Issue 6

One of my favorite books has a passage in it that says, “There exists one speaking thoughtlessly as with the stabs of a sword, but the tongue of the wise ones is a healing.” Never did these ring any truer to me than on Thursday, October 30, 2003. That was when 16 year old Devin Fowlkes, a relative of mine, who along with 2 other students, was unintentionally shot, however, he was the only one who died. Devin was a young football star of a local Washington DC area High School, who hadn’t even begun to live and experience life as most people do.

Now death in itself is the most hurtful and painful thing one can experience, not for the deceased, but for the ones they’ve left behind. They hurt, not just because an important piece of their life is now gone, but they are now surrounded by friends, family and sometimes total strangers who just don’t realize that this is the time when silence is golden.

Unintentionally, people say things that hurt almost as much as the bullet that killed young Devin, things like, “God needed another angel up in heaven.” Oh really, why didn’t he just create one like he did with the ka-billion or so other angels. Or this one, “It was part of God’s plan.” Since when did senseless violence become a part of God’s plan. I was bothered the most by this one, I guess because of who said it and when it was said. During the funeral, the leader of the Nation’s Capital said, “that Devin is running the ball for God’s team now.” Please, is that the best his writers could come up with, I mean someone should’ve tackled him. Especially when just 8 days later he couldn’t even remember Devin’s correct last name on his weekly radio show.

It’s tough to know what to say when to the family when somebody you know and loved dies, that why in these cases silence is truly golden. You know the saying, “when in doubt leave it out.” Give them a real tight hug, a tender kiss and be there for them long after the flowers have died, because sometime the words not spoken are the most powerful words of all, for these are the words that can only be heard by the heart.

Commentary by michaellorenzo
Copyright 2003
All rights reserved.