Sometimes You Need To Cry

by elaine williams - Date: 2008-05-01 - Word Count: 586 Share This!

I recall a period in time, at about 18 months after my husband passed away, that I felt pretty good about myself. I had handled what life had thrown me and come out battered, but mostly okay on the other side. After caretaking my husband for almost a year, I was battling some minor health problems of my own, related mostly to stress, but most days I was certain my life was on track. Steady and focused, my three boys were also adjusting and it seemed we all had a grip on reality.

On this day, I was on my way to an appointment with my holistic doctor when the radio began playing a song I had never heard before. The singer's words stirred something inside me. The song spoke of loving someone through the years, and even with that person gone, the threads of memory remained.

The words reverberated through me, and I experienced almost a kind of shock as their meaning sank in. Out of nowhere, I began to cry so hard I had to pull off the road. I had no control over the rush of anguished emotion. All my hard won calm fled, chopped off at the knees as I hugged the steering wheel of my car.

I cried as if a great well had opened inside and pulled my guts out. When I finally began to calm and the tears subsided, I had to wonder where this emotional outburst had come from. How could a song open a wound of such profound loss?

I arrived at my doctor's office, and as usual with holistic doctors, they not only want to know about you physically, but they dig deeper into the emotional aspects of your life. I hesitated only briefly before telling him what had occurred on the way to his office. I felt embarrassed by my earlier semi-breakdown. I tried to explain that I'd been feeling good, and then to suddenly have this upheaval had thrown me for a loop.

He explained it was to be expected there would be days where emotion could still catch me by surprise. With the loss still relatively fresh in my life, how could I expect to be 100%? I admitted to him that I'd been feeling excruciatingly lonely, but I thought I was handling it. Some days my idea of "handling" it meant ignoring or burying my feelings. Always a very private person, I hadn't shared much of my thoughts with anyone. When friends asked how I was doing, I would usually say I was okay. Inside, I kept thinking, who wants to hear that I just want to get through another day?

I felt much better after speaking with him. Not only was he a sympathetic ear, it felt good to open up and share my worries about being alone, my concern for the kids' welfare and fears that I wasn't handling my finances to my best advantage.

We talked extensively about the triggers that stirred my own private misery. Something as straightforward as a song, or as complex as past memories, seemed to have the power to entrench me in great emotion. He made me realize there would be times I merely needed to cry as part of grief's healing process. There was nothing complicated about it. Each time we are brave enough to reach down and allow our true emotions out, it brings a little more healing into our lives. As time passes, and we remain true to ourselves, a new sense of empowerment emerges.Elaine Williams 2008

Related Tags: loss, grief, widow, bereavement, widower, death of a spouse, loss of a spouse

Elaine Williams is a writer across various genres, published in women's fiction, but also enjoys writing children's books, self-help and screenplays. She is a mother of three boys and when life saw her a widow at 47, she eventually picked herself up and wrote about her experience. The resulting book, A Journey Well Taken: Life After Loss will be available June 2008,

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