Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Places Where I've Cried ....

This is part of a post I wrote February 7, 2008, about a month and a half after Jim's death.
I have yet to go back and read every post since he died ..... especially the early ones.  I'm not sure when I'll feel able to do that .... to go back to that very dark, very lonely place where death seemed to be the only escape.  But I will ..... some day.
So,  this title caught my eye and I thought I'd share it with you:

This isn't a sad post -- it's just ..... my life. It sounds sadder than I feel at the moment (that's for my mom).
It's occurred to me over the past couple of days that there are many places where I've cried.
There are the obvious places: my bed, church (all over the church -- my office, the sanctuary, the women's restroom, etc), my living room, the family room, the kitchen, the kids' bedrooms, etc. Oh, and a funeral home. That's a given.
Then there's my bathroom, on the floor next to my toilet. That was a bad moment. And there's the shower -- picture Glenn Close in "The Big Chill" and that's exactly how it was (well, except for that fact that she's blonde and had a better body, but other than that, exactly). The shower is a great place to cry and to cry loudly. No one can hear you.
And there's Jim's closet. I have actually only sat in there one time and cried. But it was that first week and it was horrible. I try not to spend too much time in there -- just a glance inside once in a while.  That closet gives me way too much pain.
I've cried in my car (I've cried in several people's cars). That option is best used when the car is parked in the garage. People tend to stare while you're driving. And well, it's a bit hard to see through tears. People also tend to stare when you're in a parking lot. Yes, the garage is the safest place.
I've cried in movie theaters and at at two live productions.
I've cried in the woods. I've cried on the tennis courts. I've cried at the nail salon. I've cried at the grocery store and at the gas station.
I've cried in an attorney's office, an accountant's office and a banking office.
I've cried at friends' homes.
I've cried on a cruise ship. That was the most expensive place in which to cry.
But not today. Not yet.  And I don't think I cried yesterday, though I really can't remember much over an hour at a time, so I could be wrong (which is a phrase I seem to say almost daily --- "though I could be wrong").
I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Yes, I have cried over the past 3-plus years.
That wasn't the last day I cried, but it was memorable because, at the time I wrote it, a significant amount of time had gone by with no tears.
That was huge.
And very uncommon.
And ..... it didn't last long.

I still cry.
But not as much.
Not nearly as much.
I can't believe that one can't die from dehydration caused by crying.

I'm sure that each of you could add to the list of places where you've cried.
I'd love to hear where some of the most "unique" places are.
If you'd like to share.

Sometimes it's good to look back .... and see that we've moved a few feet down the path.
Or heck ..... even a few inches ....
: )


  1. I've cried in almost every mall food court playplace I've been too. It's hard to sit back and watch your children play with no worries and not be affected.
    I've cried at the phone store.
    I've cried at IKEA.
    I've cried (no, sobbed) in my 3 yr old's bed with him.
    I've cried singing on stage.
    I've cried in restaurants.
    I've cried at the bank.
    I've cried on the plane.
    I've cried on the beach.
    I've cried at Walmart.
    I've cried at the doctor's office.
    I've cried while getting a massage.
    And I'm sure there's a million more places to come.

    Thanks for this post.

  2. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with that post, and I've cried in all the same places (except in my own closet, instead of your husband's of course). My unique place was in the parking lot in college right on the grassy median. Flashes of my mom overtook my mind and I couldn't make it to my car fast enough.

    I agree, it's good to look back and see the progress. It's the perfect reminder on the hard days that we will get through them and smile again. Thank you for sharing this xo

  3. most frequent, other than church, my therapists office; most unique, probably on a mountain top in Uganda, Africa - that was also probably the most healing for me; and also marked the time when I was no longer crying every day.

  4. Perfect post for me. I was at the bank yesterday and I cried in the banker's office talking about my husband. It has been 2 1/2 years. I felt like I could have bawled and bawled, but of course I didn't. Then I get home and I don't feel like crying anymore. But I think our hearts are very tender and vulnerable after such significant losses. God bless.

  5. Janine, as always, thank you for sharing with us. This really made me think, there are so many places, yes ... the car, all over my home and friends' houses as you said, but just a handful of more "unique" places would be:

    1. on seeing the Blue Mountains in Australia for the first time. I knew I would as I walked towards the viewpoint ... silent tears. Because of its beauty and because he was not there with me, as we had planned. My cousin joined me in tears and then her 3 yr old son assumed it was the mountains making us cry, "oh let's just go then" he said and made us both laugh.

    2. in my bed on the flight over to Australia. The stewardesses got me up and sat with me, hugging me, then tucked me back in and kept checking on me <3

    3. Two weeks after he died at a family dinner in a restaurant, I went outside for a smoke, and slid down the wall, then lay in the snow (no coat on!) crying. I couldn't even feel the cold. After that, all I remember is his brother carrying me into a car.

    And yes, his clothes. Oh my .... if I touch one or two shirts .... mmmmm, on the floor I sit too.

    Love you Janine for sharing x

  6. I just wanted to add how amazed I was that many of us (myself included) train ourselves to cry during set hours (after a while of course) ... I still cry every day, but the length of the crying session diminished from ALL evening to perhaps 5 minutes (with occasional long big cry every now and again).

  7. Thanks for sharing this post. About 2 mths after my husband died I was in the grocery store and for some reason actually noticed the music playing. I heard the song we danced to at our wedding 28 yrs ago. I immediately fled the store but not before leaving many, many tears in the bread isle. It is reinforcing to know that I am not alone shedding tears in public over the last 11 months.

  8. During a parent/teacher/school counselor/principal conference about my son's adjustment to the 4th grade and his struggles with doing the schoolwork necessary to catch up with his grade level. (Texas standards aren't that much higher, Ohio's are that LOW. This was 6 mos after his Dad's death and we had recently moved back to our hometown in the great state of TX.)

    Also, the pediatrician's office, mainly with the nurse who was so sweet and understanding.
    And my high school reunion last summer when I had to tell the story to old friends who didn't know Matt had died.

  9. I totally get the "bad moment" of crying on the floor next to your toilet. I had a moment like that... but I was at work. We had a single bathroom so, thankfully, nobody could walk in and see me kneeling in the bathroom, bent over sobbing by the toilet with my head also on the floor. If that isn't a telling thing... just the thought of touching the floor of a public restroom is disgusting to me, but at that time, I gave it no thought, I didn't care, it made no difference to me. The toilet could have been overflowing and I wouldn't have noticed. It was a reaction from the gut. Yes, I get it.

  10. on a plane, on the beach, at sunrise, at sunset, in my kitchen, on a balcony, on my daddy's swing, in the grocery store, in Target...he used to work there :(, into his clothes...into my clothes...the shower, the hospital, the doctor's office, the car...I am ashamed to say that I have mastered driving and crying...I have also mastered the silent tears...the ones where the tears just keep rolling down your cheeks and don't stop.

  11. It's almost 4 months since my husband died. I cry nearly It's to the point, I nearly avoid going anywhere because of it. But then, I just stay in the house and cry. I wonder if it will ever ever ever get any better? It's almost worse now than in the very beginning, as the initial shock is wearing off.

  12. Didn't really care about crying in my what if people saw me.
    Didn't really care about crying when walking either....
    cried once when a homeless guy asked me for money....
    the first time I had my aunt's chili after Erik died...
    Oh God, the first time flying on my own...
    Sears Automotive when I had to replace the car battery
    Sears again when I had to get new tires.
    The first time I laughed when I was by myself.
    the first time I sang again.

  13. when he was sick I cried in my car, on the glider, and while making coffee. after he died, I cried at the hospital, the funeral, in my bed alone, on the floor, at the computer, the DMV, and in the store too. I totally understand the constant ache in your throat and the want to cry, not for yourself, but for what you miss with yourself.

  14. I've cried at similar places that others above have mentioned.

    The shower is always a great place and in the car in the garage!

    I have cried in his closet hugging his clothes.

    I have cried at the library when I canceled his library card.

    I have cried at the voting poll, when I had to let them know to take his name off the records.

    I have cried on the phone when taking his name off credit cards, bills, etc.

    I have cried when doing yard work -- that he loved to do and I DON'T.

    I don't "cry" as much, but I do shed tears, as stated above -- the silent ones and it can happen anytime, anyplace.

    But I also smile and laugh now, remembering him!

  15. It would be easier to answer where didn't I cry? At work was the worst. People didn't know what to do with me so they all avoided me like the plague. Nobody wanted to be the one who started the waterworks during a rare time I wasn't crying. Now, we smile about it, but at the time it wasn't funny at all. I was crazy, that's for sure.

  16. I cried at church every Sunday for months
    I cried at the grave which holds his bodily remains...everytime I went for months
    I cried at the bank, the first time I went after he died
    I cried at the dentist...when I explained Don wouldn't be coming in anymore to get his teeth cleaned
    I cried at the electric coop when I went to tell them there was no need to make sure we had electricity when the power went out...D no longer would be using oxygen
    I cried at a Christmas light display after he died, I had taken D to see this a few years before his death
    I cried everytime I looked at the flower bed I had created for him to look at from his bed, when he died I no longer could take care of it
    I cried when the hospice grief counselor came monthly to visit me
    I could continue...suffice it to say I cried a lot for a long time...the "wave" hits me sometimes now...when I want to run in the house and tell D about something exciting I saw or heard...a bit of gossip a joke the fact the VA finally opened a clinic near us...then I remember there is no one to tell and it's like a gut punch!

  17. Got home from work...checked in here opened the post and accidentally scrolled over and enlarged the picture of your darling hubby to cover my whole computer screen...cried at his sweet face...went and made my son dinner and now back crying about all of the places we have all cried!

  18. I cried all the time, expecially on my way home from work, in the car behind the wheel driving, a job I got after he died, and I would take the same route home that he did for 23 years..while I was at home caring for our son. Tomorrow would have been our 26th Anniversary. Michael will be gone on Friday, 2/4, 3 years. I still cry quite often. I cried at Christmas Mass service Christmas Eve. He had a beautiful voice and I could hear him sing some of the prayers in my mind and broke down. I am seriously thinking of not going next Christmas.

  19. And the worst part is what do you do when the shoulder you cry on is gone?

    Initially I thought I was strong. Didn't think I'd cried that much but upon reflection, I've cried a lot, and in a lot of places since Dave died 7 months ago.

    I think they're all pretty normal - in the bedroom, the bathroom, shower, living room, kitchen, backyard, at a stop light, parked in my driveway, parked in a friends driveway, at work, in the bathroom at work, parking lot at work, numerous stores, on the phone, with my grief counselor, at church, on the computer, at the chiropractor, at emerg, piano lesson, meditation group, at the doctor's, putting up the christmas tree, standing in the garage looking at his new kayak, walking the dog, during massage therapy, in the tent while camping, at the beach, shoveling the snow, at friend's cottages.

    Oddly enough the only place I don't really cry is at the cemetery. I feel no connection to him there. At all. Is that normal?

    Still don't understand why this happened to us. Still can't believe this is my life now.
    Trying to figure out God's plan for the rest of my life.

  20. This blog made me smile when remembering how very many places I have cried. My husband loved fruitcake and one year I saw a fruitcake in the store and came unglued. When the manager asked what was wrong all I could say was "I saw a fruitcake" and never said another word--left the store sobbing! Also, one day at work I ran outside and hit between the dumpsters and cried so hard I could hardly breath. It is 4 years and I still fall apart now and then. I just want my old life with my husband back! These tamtrums are not getting him back for me--I am starting to figure that out.

  21. Anon ..... thank you for the "fruitcake comment". I couldn't help but smile as I pictured the face of that poor store manager as he watched you flee the store. :)
    Yes, it's too bad that these "tantrums" don't help by bringing them back. But I do think they help .... getting all of that "gunk" outside of us is sometimes a huge help.

  22. Where haven't I cried? Everything is a trigger. Mostly in my home when I'm by myself where I can let all my true emotions out and not have to be or get back in control.

  23. i cried at the post office. someone walked up behind me and i smelled my husband's cologne. lost it.

    also most recently got teary eyed at the guitar shop when i asked if a left-handed guitar could be restrung for a righty like myself. "why?" "it was my husband's" "why doesn't he play anymore?" "he's deceased" "oh"

    and the most outward uncontrollable display of emotion was at the premiere of a film my love worked on. it was dedicated to his memory and i sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like forever. got looks of "what's wrong with her?"

    sometimes embarrassment is inevitable.

  24. When Michael first died, I placed newspaper under my coffee table to catch the tears, I didn't want to ruin the new floors - crazy. I'm pretty sure that I'm not the only one that just lets the tears flow - there are no tissues "soft" enough for the vast amount of tears. Even after 9 months, I still can't say the words he died without sobbing - the accountant got my tears just yesterday. I've learned through experience to simply ignore talking about my life with strangers - it avoids all together the single, married, widow thing - I can control not talking - I can't not cry. I found out if you cry in job interviews - you don't get hired. I would never have made it to the office if I hadn't learned to drive while sobbing. Tears are my new normal, sometimes I don't even realize that I've welled up anymore. Am I better than I was at the start of this journey - absolutely. Have I had a day without tears yet? No. All my friends and family knows I just cry...

  25. I cry a lot at the grocery story. Maybe it is the whole normal routine of it. Home Depot because it is sort of a symbol of having to do everything alone. In my car because the kids can't hear me.

    Friday will be one year and everyone keeps telling me how great it will be to get past that, but I don't feel that way. More pressure to be "fine." More awkward and embarrassing not to be fine.