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I’ve been crying a lot lately. I know I need a good cry every now and then, but it’s been like All. The. Fucking. Time. Sometimes for no reason, sometimes for a very good reason, and sometimes more than once or twice a day.
These tears. Jesus. I’m like the Energizer bunny of freakin’ sob fests. My tears keep going and going and going.
A GOOD CRY WORKS WONDERS
So as I’ve done with grief in the past, I cry and let it be.
I let the tears roll. I mean, I can’t stop them, so I might as well not even try to fight it. When Im crying and the boys ask me what’s wrong I sometimes don’t know what to say. I don’t know what’s wrong. Is it a full moon or the third Thursday of the month? I mean, I don’t always have a concrete reason.
Tears used to frustrate the hell out of me. I never wanted to cry, didn’t feel the need to cry, and stopped tears in their tracks. I developed headaches, yes, but I thwarted every attempt at tears. When my husband got sick and after he died, I didn’t have the same ability or stamina to stop the crying. The tears came whether or not I wanted them to. Years later, they keep coming.
Over time I’ve learned to live with my crying jags. I don’t over-explain them to the boys. They want a solid reason, as I used to, of why the tears appear. Why are you crying, mom? What’s wrong?
When I can offer a good explanation, like, “I’m frustrated by the incessant healthcare paperwork and bills,” they accept the tears. When I can’t offer a good explanation, the boys get concerned.
I’ve told them repeatedly that even though my tears seem random, they are necessary to work through my grief. It’s important to let the tears cleanse my soul and expel whatever’s bothering me. My explanations don’t always register with them because they’re boys born with the Y chromosome that I’m convinced prohibits any kind of emotional reasoning WHATSOEVER, but I’ll keep trying.
CRY IT THE FUCK OUT, SISTER
I meet lots of widows. We talk about our grief and how we handle it. Or let’s be real, how we don’t handle it. I run into some widows who think they’ve nailed the grief thing, and others are at a loss to define what grief really is. I’m not judging if earthing, essential oils, Reiki or a straight-up Dirty Martini is the best way to cure your ills. I don’t have the answer.
But what I notice most about recent widows is their unrelenting quest to fix their grief.
Only no “fix” exists.
We can be quick to judge another widow as “having it all together” because she doesn’t cry much or educates us on the latest stress reduction methods. Some newer widows seem rather stoic and able to deal with their loss pretty well.
The operative word here is seem. Others seem to have it all together. But, while the walking-toward-the-light and finding-the-good -in-each-day stories sound outstanding, I’m not buying it. Not in the beginning, anyway. I want to grab the stoics by the shoulders, shake the shit out of them and scream, “you’re in denial, sister. Cry it the fuck out!”
Honestly, I just want to let them know it’s OK to cry. It’s OK not to be OK.
It’s not only OK to cry, but ESSENTIAL.
Release those tears!
WIDOW WRAP UP
We can read self-help books, follow the spiritual gurus, eat chia seeds or plant moonflowers until the flipping cows come home. We can search and search for the next big thing in handling grief. But, after we feel confident we’ve found the ultimate “fix,” we always return to the tears. So, let’s all have a good cry, shall we?
Let’s cry and sob and wail without needing a reason. Let’s take a moment to cleanse our souls, feel the feelings and then get back to business.
Releasing the tears is the truest way I know to “fix” the unfixable.