Monday, June 30, 2014

Tangle of Tears

Dear Jenny,

Why do you think God created us with the ability to cry? Each time I cry (which has been more often than not recently), I think
This is the worst pain I've ever felt.

I even went so far as to tell a boy somewhat recently that his not making a presence in my evening was the meanest thing anyone had ever done to me. Sure, it felt like that in the emotionally-driven moment. The accompanying tears confirmed my pain. But as soon as I communicated those words to him, I knew it wasn't true. I was merely being selfish in my hurt.

You, my dear friend, have cried--I imagine literally until there were no more tears--over your newborn baby girl's life and death for over a year now. I have witnessed your irrevocable loss and journey via the stumbled-upon exchange of our letters over time and oceans. You wrote transparently and explicitly about your pain. I read, I discovered, and I learned true suffering second-handedly, vicariously. And then I began my own journey of loss, completely blind and ignorant to how deeply I might eventually mourn.

You wrote about the invisible stick of righteousness you used in the beginning, measuring others' painful circumstances to yours. My sister confessed to doing the same in the midst of her miscarriage. You have often found that, compared to your daughter's death, other people's mountains are, in fact, molehills. This is my molehill, but it is sorrowful loss reducing me to tears nonetheless.

What did I lose, again? Well, put that way, I'm not really sure. I don't exactly know. Perhaps I am losing something as little and insignificant as a great time, having had my fun, and now it's time to be an adult and move on. Perhaps I am losing a significant friendship, someone who cared for me but life's cruel circumstances have us in different times, different lives, forever separate. Perhaps I'm losing the one I'm meant to love, the man I've dreamed of one day marrying and being companions with for the rest of our lives. I don't know. And that is, without a doubt, the hardest part of the process from my limited view.

I know crying doesn't make it any better. And my grown-up self is totally judging the teenage hormones expressed through tears over a boy. So why? Crying so hard and so long that I become physically ill? (Go ahead, I'm not offended if you judge me, too.) Does the expression of sorrow mean anything? I want it to. I want to be my six-year-old self again when crying earned my parents arms holding me tightly and rocking me back and forth in the squeaking rocker until I could breathe again. I want someone to see my tears and empathize with what I'm going through, seeing how what I'm feeling on the inside is so strong that it cannot help but show outwardly.

I cannot think of a more vulnerable expression of emotion than crying. Crying due to a loss is a message to the outside world that pleads for help with coping with internal sufferings, a way one comforts oneself. It is here that your experiences become so much more real to me. I fully understand now your desire to be met in your pain. I'm here; meet me in mine.

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