Don’t Be Like Me…Please!


I wrote this in the spring but couldn’t publish until now.

Today I learned that my best friend was gravely injured in a car accident. As I write this, I don’t even know if he will be alive when the sun rises tomorrow, heralding a brand new day. I pray earnestly for that golden-pink glow to touch him…and that he will feel it.

I am equally saddened that my daughter has had to suffer and grieve because she loves him, also, and is fearful of losing him.  But this post isn’t about their relationship, or even my heartbreak at possibly losing my dearest friend. It’s about seeing.

When I arrived home late tonight, she was waiting for me. I was desperate to get home because I knew she would be distraught over Mike’s accident. I found her cool and aloof…just like me. We talked about mundane things…the boys doing their chores, my kindergartener’s homework. Finally I told her the latest news about Mikey. I saw her almost cry…then catch herself. She kept busy by cleaning the kitchen and washing the counter tops, but I knew it was to keep herself closed off from the emotions. I do the same thing. In fact, I realized at that moment that I taught her how to do it. When she said she was going to bed, I asked if she needed a hug and she politely declined. I told her I needed a hug but that I didn’t want a hug because it would make me cry. She agreed…and then we hugged…and cried…and hugged. Again the light bulb clicked on…I taught her that touching is negative when we are hurting because it opens the floodgates we are trying so desperately to control.

Sweet young woman, it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be comforted. It’s ok to let the ones we love see our grief and pain. And it’s ok to allow them to help us carry it. Don’t be like me, please! Don’t close yourself off. Don’t stuff the pain down deep inside you. Don’t think you always have to be tough…or strong. Don’t trick yourself into believing that you have to carry the burdens alone. Please don’t ever accept that shedding tears equates to weakness – it’s a lie he tricked us into believing and we need to lay it down and let it be swallowed up in our sea of tears – let it drown. Then we can allow those tears to wash over us, wash away the horrors of this life, and cleanse our hearts and minds from the atrocities we’ve suffered.

I think just maybe we could both learn not to be like me…


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