Thank you tears

Thank you tears

Dear Sunflower,

I want to thank you for sharing your grief and tears with me. What a relief to be able to cry. Thank you. And to be very clear, we share much more happy, laughter, appreciation, and richness together.

Not long after we became friends, you were going through a disappointing breakup. You showed up at my house and sat at my kitchen table and cried your eyes out about how sad you were. I had not the slightest idea what to do or say. I shallowly wondered if you didn’t have a closer friend than I to cry to. I was in my mid thirties, you in your late twenties. I did not understand how much you wanted, or I wanted, for that matter, to have kids of your own. For you the grief was about the dissolution of the relationship, your boyfriend and some friends being disappointing and unloyal. But really you cried a woman’s cry about wanting to have a family of your own, and worried you would not have the chance, or find someone who valued you in that way.  I was not helpful to you, and was embarrassed by my coldness. I was too afraid of my own same feelings to be present for yours. I apologize.

You have a lot of lovely friends. I didn’t quite get that you valued me especially and wanted to be closer. You offered some great ideas about traveling to Mockabee’s place together to see it before he died. I didn’t make it a priority, and I regret not taking the time to spend with you before we got busy with other things.

You have big feelings. I was not comfortable with big feelings until my life got more solid.  You have a FAMILY with big feelings. A beautiful, quirky, unpredictable and loving family that acts up in flawed ways. You all love, accept, and forgive each other because of and despite of those big feelings and flaws. That was a safety I hadn’t experienced about feelings until I got to know your family better over the years. And I am so grateful you have shared your family with me.

I’ve been to three funerals so far which kicked my butt. Two of those were for two of your parents’ funerals. I don’t know if I will ever forget them. Your parent was obviously an incredible person, influential, and much loved. His service was standing room only. There were poets, singers, dancers, speakers, friends, and tears. A room full of tears, that were then banished by a soul singer who sang us into celebration. I got to cry for the family I did not have, for being a witness to a life wonderfully and fully lived. That crying I got to do was the loving kind of grief that urges you on to doing your best in this short time.

The next funeral was smaller, but full of delicious tears. One brother, younger by two years, spoke and cried. He talked about brothers and their relationship. I had the wonderful opportunity to take my two boys to the service with me and teach them that one of them would be doing this for the other in the future, hopefully a long time from now. And then you got up and spoke about your Dad, shamelessly crying through the whole beautiful thing which included geometry, old cars, and his love of a good conversation.

And you have given me a great lesson, that there is no shame in crying big tears and feeling big feelings. That we love who we love and want what we want and it is all fleeting and we grieve it. We enjoy, but we grieve, these connections and attachments. We let them go, but they have changed us. You have taught me to enjoy my tears and to be grateful for the opportunity to have loved and wanted more.

I love you. I sure hope we have more time together.