It’s Okay to Cry

This is a piece I’ve been doing for a while, and now I have it on video thanks to my dear friend, Heidi.

I was desperately and stupidly trying to write a paper for school the day after my good friend Michele passed away. Frustrated, I called a friend, who assured me that it was normal to be upset. To which I replied, but I have to stop crying! He gently reminded me that it is okay to cry. I felt he didn’t understand that I was crying in class, I was crying on the bus, I was crying the student union, I was crying at small group, I was crying at the freaking grocery store! And while it’s a nice thought that it’s okay to cry, I was finding that the times when it’s really appropriate to cry were fewer than I’d thought. I also discovered that even when I cried in wildly inappropriate places, everyone would act as if I was not crying. Although that felt awkward, I was mostly grateful that I could maintain some modicum of privacy.

One time, though, at a bus stop, a woman noticed that I was crying and kindly asked me if I was okay. Because she seemed to mean it, I told her that I was fine, but I was sad because a friend of mine had just died. “Cancer?” she asked. I shook my head, cried a little harder, and said, “No. She killed herself.” The woman nodded, serious, but not surprised. I went back to my crying, thinking she was done. Then she turned suddenly and demanded, “It wasn’t ’cause of no man, was it?”

I still hold a special place in my heart for that woman.

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