The Secret: Breaking the Silence


SACRED (noun)
from pp. of obsolete verb sacren "to make holy," from Latin sacer "sacred, dedicated, holy, accursed," from Old Latin saceres which some connect to the base *saq- "bind, restrict, enclose, protect."



It’s almost as if they forgot their wedding vows, the limit of any marriage: "until death do you part." For even after she died, she found a way to return by taking over the life and body of her daughter.
A child displaced.

For this, she cannot be blamed. Very few have been taught about death, let alone how to embrace it. Even fewer recognize the fact of their passing, caught instead in a fog of unknowing: frantic about what has come of them, left grasping for certainties where none exist, desperately hoping to replace the ground that’s suddenly been lost.

After a while, she’ll recognize the haze that surrounds her as part of the Bardo state: it’s what happens to the mind when life comes to an end. Failure to recognize it is the greatest danger, although this happens to the best of us. Surrounded by confusing visions that make it virtually impossible to give coherence to what’s come to pass.

Taking over the life and body of her daughter was a split-second decision, an impulse that came on the heels of death. It’s this choice that created a new alliance, prolonging a marriage already at its end: both unwilling to accept the tragedy of her dying, both unable to let her go. From this comes a certain silence, a pact between a grieving husband and the spirit of his wife who now appears as his daughter.

Somehow, the stalemate needs to be broken so as to allowing the flow of life to begin again. It’ll require undoing the pact they share, despite the fear of what such a deed might bring. Until then, both are caught in the In-Between: bound by an untold secret that has yet to be heard.

But which secret is the most binding?  Which one hasn’t been told?

Her Eyes

Over time, secrets acquire a sacred aura due to the energy required to keep them and their power to bind two people together. (Me and him against the world.) Such secrecy is enormously seductive, due precisely to the unknowingness of everyone else, as if the two of them had been granted a glimpse of the heaven while mere mortals busied themselves with simple concerns about the earthly and the mundane.

And so, for husband and reincarnated wife, the silence is maintained, either out of fear of disclosure or a fierce sense of protectiveness. And yet, if ever they should forget, there’s the question of their daughter: the body her mother took hostage amidst the confusion brought on by the arrival of her death.

Which is probably where karma comes in – a past life and its lasting influence -where another kind of power does its work, behaving as if death doesn’t exist. In the face of these forces, the will begins to shrivel and decay sets in, forcing its victims to reenact scenarios over which they have no control. (In many ways, it’s not so different from the case of a man caught in a web of relationships, forever looking for validation from those who rip his sense of self to shreds.)

Such is the effect of a soul contract: an agreement made in another time and in another place. While involuntary, such a contract typically exerts its influence long after its original purpose has been served. It worms its way into the structure of one’s body and the yearning of one’s soul, programmed for an endless repeating. Desperate for a solution that never seems to be found.

It, too, is ruled by the power of the unspoken. It, too, is governed by a secret too sacred to be told.


All marriages borne of love produce at least one child (if not two or even more). Out of this one grew a girl: their one and only, their precious daughter.

It’s she who interrupts the stalemate, if not by her own actions then by her parents working on her behalf. Both love her deeply and despite the mother’s death, both will do anything to ensure her return. It’s her mother who first comes to the realization of what the cost of this effort will be; his comes more slowly, confused as he is by the voice of his wife coming from the body of their daughter.

By introducing another imperative, in reminding her parents of her existence, they can no longer pretend she’s just disappeared. And so, their attention will begin to shift, no longer able to relish their love but fighting on behalf of their daughter, instead. New priorities will be established that forever alters the fabric of fate.

They’ll pray that their daughter will return to the land of the living. Hoping that it’s not too late.

The Daughter Speaks

Isn’t it appropriate that when the time comes for the pair to say goodbye, it’s their daughter’s diary from which they read? A voice submerged beneath their love, almost suffocated by her mother’s return from the dead? That beneath their secret was another voice buried and silent, now able to breathe in an open sky.

It’s a bittersweet moment in any parent’s life, but especially those who struggled so mightily on their child’s behalf. For their labors have been rewarded, even as they come to realize the cost of their success: ensuring a future for their child may also mean having to relinquish a most precious past.

In this way, the sacred tie they shared becomes their sacrifice, in much the same way as ancient rites sought to realign the human with the divine. As fragments of the Original Soul, all individuals seek reminders of the primordial spark that gave birth to the universe. And it’s through love that one comes closest to finding it, love’s embrace harkening back to God both gloriously self-sufficient and complete.

Sacrifice of what we hold sacred and dear is the time-honored method by which such completeness is reclaimed, for through the power of alchemy one can reestablish right relationship between heaven and earth, whether it’s through heart-break or mind-break or even both. And what greater love is there when this is accomplished on behalf of one’s child: a father for the sake of his daughter and a mother for a younger version of herself?

Breaking the Secret

While he tried to comfort his wife, surely the daughter’s words were intended more for him rather than for her. After all, she lived her daughter’s life and became familiar with the diary and the sentiments contained within. She now knows how daughter felt about her mother and the life her parents imposed upon their child. What had previously been lost has been found. Now, on the eve of her departure, her husband’s let in on the secret, as well.

In breaking the silence, the parent’s pact is undone. Once the truth comes out, it’s impossible to return to the past. For old habits acquire new meanings, just as a marriage built on a secret comes to be reassessed. It isn’t about talking loudly in order to undo the silence. It’s about unearthing what was hidden and making room for what was buried and unheard.

The body of their child interrupted their marriage, forcing exactly this kind of shift. In place of old forms of communication, new ones had to take their place. No longer was it just the two of them. Instead, by virtue of the child’s body wedged between them, a space was created for a different voice. And when the creation of that space is completed, that’s when their daughter returns to earth.

Such is the alchemy of sacrifice: marital bliss set aside that sets the stage for a mother and daughter reunion, finally becoming One. And while the timing might be different, surely a similar transformation awaits husband and father, too.


~ by mistified on December 14, 2011.

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