I’ve been busy these past four days. I went to lunch with a writer friend, had my college buddies over, and had an overnight visit with my wonderful, caring sister-friend. These past few days were filled with talk, laughter, catching up, showing off my apartment (Discovery), chillaxing in the comfort you get with sweet, understanding, good, old friends and yes, tears. Yesterday, when it was only me again, I crashed.
It was coming. Grief whispered to me “um, I’m still here” a few times during my times with my friends. On Thursday before I saw my friend for lunch, I let go of a good cry. I cried with my college friends when they visited. I boohooed before my Friday began and scattered them through my visit with my sister-friend. Yesterday afternoon, after everyone had gone and it was just me, I broke down and sobbed. Yesterday afternoon, all I could do was cry, sleep, veg with the TV, eat and cry some more.
Let me add here, yesterday and this morning, I feel like I’m battling some type of cold with my stuffy nose, my soreish throat, and an earache. I feel tired and kind of achy. It’s been said Grief hands you all sorts of illnesses, or illness-like symptoms, and I believe it. I mean, how can your body not react to the pain your soul is feeling? So, is this cold-like feeling real or Grief? It doesn’t matter. The symptoms I have are real to me right now and I am sure it is helping my tears to flow.
Honestly, there’s not a day that goes by when I don’t cry. I’ve always been a crier. I’ve cried easily since I can remember. I have memories of my mother telling me to ‘stop crying already’ and my siblings telling me I was too old to cry. I think they were afraid I’d get my ass kicked if I cried too much in school. I never did, thank you tall and muscular frame.
When I started menstruating, PMS was not kind to me. Every month, I shed tears, lots of tears. Sure, sometimes I might have gotten bitchy, but most times, it was the tears that was my tell for “that time of the month”. During my pregnancies, after my pregnancies, sleep deprivation from one somewhat colicky baby and another who refused to sleep, I cried. When my babies grew up through the bullying, the hell called middle school and the uncertainty of high school, I cried with every one of their pains. When the nest emptied out, I could not be consoled. My menopause was cut short because my ovaries were removed thanks to dermoid cysts, but when it first started, I walked around with tears in my eyes. And now, with Peter’s death, I can’t stop the rain of tears.
I can’t really explain why I am such a cry baby. It’s not something I can help, and after this many years on the earth, nothing I can stop. It seems to have gotten worse though since Peter died. Sometimes I’ll cry out and then as fast as I did, I’ll stop…only to burst out again. Other times, I go on like a blubbering idiot. I used to have my tears under control. Like if my lip trembled at work – oh, yeah a bully of a boss caused those to come – or when I knew I had to be strong for my kids and stop the crash that was coming, I could pull back and hold it together. Now? Well, now I cry in front of furnace men, and grocery store clerks. I cry on the phone with my niece and nephew. I blubber to the cable guy or the Uber driver. It’s like I have lost control. Then again, my life is out of control, so what do I expect?
The people who know me the most understand my tears and are never shocked by them. Others? I wonder. I am seeing a grief counselor and she tells me this is all normal. I retort, ‘nothing normal about any of this’. She agrees with a look of ‘you know what I mean’…and I do. I know many who go through grief, have uncontrolled bouts of tears. I probably have them more because I always cried. Plus, I do think and feel deeply. It was how I came out of my Mom. I wondered if I could speak at a minute old if I wouldn’t have told the doctor or nurse how I felt in the womb.
My niece, a compassionate, loving, empathetic, sensitive, woman, told me once, “Gals like us with big hearts and big feels need men who can hang with that, we are not for the faint of hearts”. And she’s spot on. That’s why I mourn Peter. To the core of it, that is the reason. He hung with me, and all my emotions, all of my tears. He hung with me even though I am not the easiest person to hang with. He loved me in spite of me, because of me. He was my soulmate, my meant-to-be person, my fella the Universe decided to set me up with, my Mister who was my stability. I will never know another like him…ever. And I miss his heart. And I miss him. I miss him so much, it brings me to tears, all the time.
Last night, I had a dream about Peter. I dreamed we were in my Living Room, just the two of us. I was telling him how absurd my life is now and it is not one I ever envisioned, or hoped for, or thought about, not ever. As I told him, he started to grin. His grin turned to a laugh. I joined him in the laughter, and together, we dissolved into convulsed belly laughs, realizing the ridiculousness of all of it. And it felt good. It felt great. When it slowed down, I looked away for a beat. When I looked back, he was gone.
I woke up feeling refreshed, like how a good laugh can bring out all those wonderful endorphins. As I drifted back to sleep, I realized it was only a dream. Peter was not in my waking life anymore. Then, I started to cry. I have always been a crier.