Do You Cry in Public?
“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery,
The Little Prince
Do you cry in public? I do sometimes but I don’t like to cry in front of anyone! To me, crying is a private matter. It’s the way I’m wired. I blame it on my genes; my father’s family is stoic, my mother’s family cries gracefully whenever the situation calls for it. I’ve got a bit of both Dad and Mom in me.
When my brother-in-law’s mother died, I sat at the funeral with my cousin witnessing and feeling all the sadness in the room. I didn’t know her very well, I had seen her at my nieces Birthday parties and at Christmas, but I knew well the people who would be missing her.
As the church bells were sounding at the end of the mass, I could feel the lump moving from my chest to my throat. My heart was pounding faster. When I reached the back of the church I encountered a receiving line and ungracefully cried on the shoulders of each family member as I delivered my sympathy.
The Dad side of me could only hold out for so long before the Mom side kicked in. My cousin chuckled as he saw me losing the battle. Lucky him. His genes were not confused as mine were.
It was only after I left the church that I realized it wasn’t a receiving line at all. They just happened to be there at the back of the church because that’s where they left their coats.
My mother used to say that a good cry cleans out the pipes. I agree. But I’ll have my good cry in private, thank you. I might tell you about it afterwards but, no, I won’t do it in front of you.
Does the poet in you remain stoic or weep gracefully? Do you cry in public?
photo credit: Alyssa L. Miller