For Hannah Moss, silence was the only way to cope with mourning for her dad, a silence she finally learned to break on stage.
The actress is bringing her show, So It Goes, to Sheffield on Saturday.
It is by turns moving and funny and an almost wordless tribute by Hannah to her dad, his life and their relationship.
She said: “My dad died when I was 17.
“I couldn’t really speak about him or talk about how I thought about it. I pushed it away.
“If my mum mentioned him I’d end the conversation. I wanted to run away.”
Her life changed unexpectedly in Edinburgh three years ago.
Hannah said: “At the Edinburgh Fringe in 2012 I saw lots and lots of theatre. I was working there as a producer.
“I went to see one where the performer wrote on a big chalkboard. It was all about her writing and watching her write.
“That really connected with me and an image popped into my head about me writing and the audience reading.
“It was about me being silent and not saying a word.”
Hannah worked with a collaborator, David Ralfe, on the idea and eventually the show came together.
Hannah said she’d also tried to write a radio play on the subject but that didn’t work for her.
“We had to work quite a lot with the whiteboard to make sure, as it can be quite slow.
“You have to use it at the right time. We had to make sure we didn’t lose the audience! I use it within a scene to communicate essential information.”
Not surprisingly, Hannah said that the show has provoked an emotional response from the audience.
“We’ve had really amazing feedback from people. There is a real desire from people to share their own stories, which is really great.
“People really want to talk about it, which in a way is what we wanted it to do but I don’t think we could have hoped it would be that good.”
Hannah said that the noisy depictions of grief on TV shows like Casualty were “not what I went through.
“It was more like a slow burn that’s been with me 10 years. It’s something that progresses really slowly”.
She added: “The show has been cathartic. The whiteboard really was my way of talking about it without talking about it. It was the method I used to talk about how I felt.
“It helped me come to terms with it.”
Lots of people who knew Hannah’s dad Mike have been to see the show.
She said: “They all really, really like it and they’re remembering all this stuff about Mike.
“They have said, ‘you mum doesn’t dress like that!’ We have to show that she is a mum but she is more fashionable than that.”
The show has also helped Hannah to talk to her mum about her dad. “
My mum was saying ‘you haven’t said anything in the show that I didn’t know but it was good to hear you say it’.”
Or write it, anyway.
So It Goes is touring to the Crucible Studio on Saturday.
Box office: at the venue, call 0114 249 6000 or go to www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk