Grief Journal: Crying in Public

I cry every day, usually in the shower. Some women pamper themselves—I cry. Actually, that’s probably HOW I pamper myself, these days. Crying is a luxury.

But other things make me cry, too. I can’t really speak about my son’s death without tearing up or leaking slowly. Sometimes I can, but 95% of the time, I cry, quiet tears slipping down my face and my voice quavering without ever really losing it and tipping over into full-blown wailing.

This is understandable. I cut myself slack. Most people do, too, even if they sometimes seem a bit panicked at what exactly to do with this person, crying in public. (Have you ever noticed we don’t publicly cry in American society? It tends to freak people out, a bit.)

The crying that surprises me, though, is the crying triggered by something seemingly random. 

Tonight, I was driving down I-90, headed into Chicago for a business meeting. I passed the Shaumberg “Medieval Times” and burst into tears. We went there last year at Spring Break and my son absolutely adored it. He declared their tomato soup starter “the best ever” and bugged me to ask for the recipe. He cheered himself hoarse for our knight and was beside himself with excitement when “our guy” won. We spent weeks after that looking up how one trains to become a Medieval Times knight, and I think it joined his roster of possible career choices. He had such a blast, and I cried, thinking of that happy, excited boy I miss like I would miss air were I blasted into space. 

Other times I have cried:

  • Scrolling through the cable guide, when I passed the live Overwatch gaming finals, or a rerun of PACIFIC RIM.
  • In Target, every time I see a toy he would have loved.
  • In the grocery store, when I automatically reach for the protein bars we used to feed him in an effort to help him keep on weight.
  • In the bookstore, when I saw the new release in the WARRIOR CATS series of books. 
  • Every time I find a LEGO any where in the house.
  • Seeing all the kids headed to school in the morning, or home in the afternoon. 

You get the idea. Even though it’s been nearly four months, his loss still hits me like a punch in the gut. It’s like I’ve been stabbed through the heart, but the knife is still there and someone sometimes jiggles the knife, just for emphasis. 

It hurts. So I cry.

One thought on “Grief Journal: Crying in Public

  1. When my dad died, buying strawberries sent me into an ugly cry and I just ran out of the store and left the cart behind. Wow that one blew me away. Christmas eve does me in everytime as Dad being a minister it was his favorite day of the year plus he loved all the songs. And mom and I hold hands and cry along with Silent night, every year since and it has been 15 years since we said goodbye to my dad. Hugs honey. we are here.


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