God gave us tear ducts for a reason. I’ve never bought into the tough guy male stigma of “men don’t cry.” My Ron cried. He was not a weak man. He was strong, vital, and all man, but he was a caring, loving man who wasn’t ashamed to let tears flow.
Many times we held each other in our shared grief. He was a passionate man who would sometimes look me in the eyes and tell me how much he loved me, and tears would fall. Our love was deep, beautiful, and grounded. It is this connection we shared, which made it so hard to learn to live without him.
I shed a lot of tears, even nearly three years after his soul went to heaven. His picture is the background on my computer. When I open the laptop, he is there smiling at me as he sits in a fishing boat, wearing his hat and ready to make a catch of the day. Remembering all the camping trips, cooking over the fire, playing 500 Rummy, enjoying the outdoors together…these bring me comfort. Yes, sometimes I shed a tear because I miss those times, but they are healing tears.
I remember once when a song came on the radio and it was a song we used to dance to…one we called our song. I danced around the living room while I sang and tears flooded my cheeks. Healing tears. The journal entry:
Heard “Could I Have This Dance” on the radio. I looked at the picture of Ron and me and with tears falling, I sang from my heart to him. His smile seemed to grow bigger and love poured from his eyes to my heart. I don’t know where this Heaven is he’s walking in right now, but I feel him with me and God must allow these small hugs.
Church seemed to be one of my most difficult times to control tears. I’ve always been one who cried when the Spirit touches me during a sermon, during Communion, and now the absence of Ron by my side triggered an undeniable sting behind my eyelids. Sundays were our special days together. We’d go to brunch after church and eat at a different restaurant in the evening. It was our quiet day together. Sundays became the hardest days for me to get through.
I read somewhere that emotions are like waves slapping the beach. Each wave brings a new round of despair or clarity. Sometimes I cried to the point of making myself sick. Always in the safety of my home where no one could interfere. These times are necessary. They are a cleansing and a part of healing.
The reality of losing Ron tore me up inside, scraped my heart, and bruised it beyond repair. I’ll never be the same again. My grief was a private grief and I didn’t want to burden others with the intensity of the pain I felt.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Each person reacts differently to losing a loved one. We are not crazy. And we are not alone. God promises to walk with us through the storms of life and even in the shadow of death. He doesn’t promise we won’t have difficult journeys just because we are saved, but He promises He will always be with us.
There are times when I sit curled up in a chair and ask Jesus to hold me. And He does. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I do nothing. Think nothing. Just feel. And I know Jesus understands.
Don’t be afraid to cry. Find a quiet spot and just let the tears flow. Don’t hold back. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve done this. Grieve as loudly as necessary. Pound a pillow if you feel the need. Curl in a ball and retire to a dark room. Do whatever you feel the need to do. It’s normal. It’s healthy. It’s healing.
Cry when you need to and know that life goes on.