How you know you need a good cry*

self-portrait with fall leaves, Canon S95

  • When you wake up, a little too composed, and wonder why you’re holding it together so well.
  • When you make your coffee, three times this morning, and wonder why it still doesn’t taste right.
  • When you find yourself shouting, full of rage, at the top of your lungs to your kids, Everyone needs to stop whining or I am gonna (insert expletive) lose it!!!
  • When songs with words, any words at all, are too much for your heart to take.
  • When kindness, any small kindness, feels huge and poignant and goes straight to your heart.
  • When you’re afraid someone is going to ask you, while looking you in the eyes, how you’re doing.

Without going into too much detail, I’ll just say that our thanksgiving holiday was more eventful than I had hoped. We spent much of it in the hospital with a family member and just generally holding the weight of the world on our shoulders.

Maybe this is you.

If it is, please know that we are in this together.
That we are connected, that you are not alone.
That the very best thing you can possibly do is cry. That crying is softening and cleansing.

Maybe you will cry reading this, or maybe a good friend will ask you how you are.
Let them comfort you.
Let that song bring you to tears.

Remember that whatever our circumstances are, however different, we are all in the same soup.
We are all connected in our grief and in our joy. Somehow this comforts me.

 

36 Comments

  1. Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Biggest of hugs. I share with you my joys and griefs, knowing you do the same (in some small way) with me as well.

    I smiled at the part about yelling at your kids that if they don’t stop you will lose it – when, obvious to everyone but you at that moment, that by yelling you have already lost it. I smiled because I have so very much been in that spot. I also smile because I see you as a lovely, serene, cheerful being – knowing that you too yell at your kids every once in a while, I feel less alone.

    Love to you and yours.

  2. Posted November 29, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Andrea…you really couldn’t possibly know how deeply your words have touched me in this moment. While at the gym this morning, feeling an intense heaviness (in more ways than one), I kept thinking how I really need a good cry…as soon as I got home, the tears started and then I opened this post and began to sob. Your words feel like a prayer was answered–like the angels are saying, “See sweetheart, you’re not alone.”

    From my heart to yours, thank you.

    <3 Julia

  3. Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Big big hugs to you. Thank you for sharing. When I feel the urge to cry, I put on a song like “I Won’t Let Go” by Rascall Flatts or any Adele song; lay down on the floor; and bawl until I feel better. If you haven’t heard Rascall Flatt’s – google on You Tube and get ready to let it all out. Know that we will all stand by you and won’t let you fall. xoxo

  4. Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    We’re all carrying a bit of the load for you Andrea. You can take a deep breath. Hugs!

  5. Abby
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. No, you are not alone. No, I am not alone.

  6. Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Goodness Gracious! My Goodness! Good Godness! Thankfully we can cry – like a bloodletting, right? Seems like such a perfect relief to all that we hold. What a sweet and simple piece of writing, beautiful. xxxx

  7. Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    This is how out of touch with myself I am… while reading this, a little bell went off in my heart. “Oh, that feeling of coming undone while listening to ANY song on the radio – that means I need a good cry!” Because this happens all the time – that raw feeling when my daughter asks why I’m crying and I don’t know why.
    Andrea, you have this beautiful way of seeing through things – of getting to this sort of universal soft place we all share, and helping me feel connected to everyone and myself. I’m sending you thoughts of comfort in your sadness. Love, Nikki

  8. Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Great post. And it comforts me, too. I sobbed yesterday to the point of having my shirt wet, my car console wet and a whole lotta wet tissues on the car floor. I couldn’t see to drive, had to pull over throughout the day. It’s true, one can often feel a NEED to cry. It just builds up and HAS to come out. Has to. On that note, I don’t knowhow men do it,what with the “men don’t cry” thing. I cannot imagine my life without weeping.

  9. Posted November 29, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you once again for your deep honesty and vulnerability. You gave yourself permission and have helped us give ourselves permission to let the tears and emotions and truth flow. Yes and amen, girl.

    We are all swirling around in the same big pot of love and tears and life and growth and sorrow together. Sometimes the best thing we can do is simply marinate in the brine of our tears, knowing that the longer we steep, the tastier, the stronger, the more vibrant we will be. (I hope I didn’t mess up that metaphor too badly…)

    Big love flowing your way from Charlotte, NC.
    And lots of warm hugs too.

  10. marilee pittman
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    my daughter needs to read this!

  11. Susan
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a good cry is exactly what I need…thanks.

  12. Posted November 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I love that feeling of connectedness, in the good and in the bad. We can’t have one without the other, and sharing them always makes them better.

    On a side note I occasionally find myself yelling at the cats like that! (We don’t have any kids) and afterwards, I usually feel rather silly and can’t help but smile at my own outburst.

  13. Anna
    Posted November 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Sending you the biggest hug and how are you!

    We were almost there, but got a reprieve …but I know just how hard it is

  14. Posted November 29, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Amazing. And so true to life right now. Thank you for sharing.

  15. Posted November 30, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    So sorry you’re having a tough time.

    My thoughts are with you and your family – you’ll all get through this one way or another. The only way out is through.

  16. Diana
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    I love your posts about the real & heartbreaking messiness of life. Difficult as these times are to experience, I find them also full of soul and aliveness.

    Please forgive what seems may be an inappropriate question for the tenor of the post (or perhaps may be a welcome levity) but please tell me, WHAT BOOTS ARE THOSE?! So cool!

  17. Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:37 am | Permalink

    yes. totally. all of what you said.
    i love you my friend…

  18. Tina tierson
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    You’re on my heart today. xoxo

  19. marina
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    a very very big and warm hug to you!!!!
    I hope you and your family can have lighter and more joyful days soon.
    thank you so much for writing about how you feel. I am reminded of Katherine Center words, you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs: you are so brave in sharing this. it does help me being braver in my days.

  20. SarahWT
    Posted November 30, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Sending love and prayers for your family member, Andrea. And a big hug for you!

  21. Posted November 30, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    i understand…sadly, i understand – extending a hand from across the pond.

  22. Posted December 1, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    so true. a holiday spoiled by unforseen events and illnesses. i had one too. plus my two year’s old vomit down my shirt, bra and pants, in the window seat of a plane. plus this, and that, and the brand new puppy coming down with Parvo and hospitalized yesterday. I went and visited him today, twice, to hold him. I was struck by how similar it felt to visiting my newborn boy in the NICU two years ago. Struck,more so, by how much I’ve grown, because this time I’m not trying to hold back the tears, or hide them, or feel I should be stronger. I am stronger and I cry all the same, and maybe because I do. So I pray for him tonight, a dark cold lonely night for him all alone in that cage, in that room, and me all alone in this house, which sometimes feels like it’s own cage. and it helps to read this.

  23. Posted December 1, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    There is a song I love called Child of Light sung by Mindy Gledhill. One verse goes: “you will never ever walk alone, you were never called to bare your burdens on your own and where there is fear, love will take control and lead you on… ” So true, isn’t it? This post touched me. I also spent thanksgiving in the hospital with my daughter who has cancer. She just relapsed after doing well for the last 16 months. Now we are waiting for her bone marrow transplant and it’s terrifying and horrible. But yes, we are all connected, and I am able to be strong each day because I’m constantly lifted up by so many wonderful friends and loved ones. I hope you too find that strength!

  24. Trish
    Posted December 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Sending you my love….

  25. Tamara
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    *raises hand* me too- spent Thanksgiving in hospital with my father. He’s been there since Halloween… my husband, brothers and I promised each other we’ll decorate my parents’ house for Christmas regardless, but it will be a fresh hell if he’s not home by then, if he’s even still here. The break-up songs on the radio are making me cry, but the old photos are the real ticket to balled-up-tissue-land.
    No, we’re not alone and we’re all connected and along with this sadness there is much joy that remains to be discovered.
    Also, along with Diana- those boots, they are awesome. I also admire your signature red boots. You are Queen of Awesome Boots.

  26. Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    That was beautiful. Thank you :)

  27. kathy
    Posted December 2, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve so been needing to hear this. Thank you, Andrea.

  28. Posted December 2, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    you seem to always understand.
    amen sister to all of it.
    xo

  29. Posted December 3, 2011 at 4:19 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry I am just reading this now. I’m sorry that I am so caught up in me and in creating my new website ( !*$%#&*$) , blah blah blah that I didn’t look up to see what you were up to. I hope you are ok and your family member is better.
    I hope you know how important this blog is to so many people.
    We need these messages.
    You bring us ( me ) a gentle nudge all the time
    that I am not unique
    and yet my stories are important
    and connect us all.

    love to you,
    xo
    *c

  30. Rebecca F.
    Posted December 4, 2011 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Yeah….. well…. right now, I hate soup. :(

  31. kim
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    sending you another hug….we all need them. I hope things are better.

    xox

  32. Posted December 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    I went for almost two years where I just couldn’t cry. That sucked.
    I celebrate your tears and send you a whole lot of my love. Hoping things are on the improve. Wishing we were closer. Let your tears come Andrea and thank you for sharing.

  33. cindy
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    Andrea-
    My love and support goes out to you. This was exactly our Thanksgiving last year with 7 days spent in the hospital with my darling daughter. Just a reminder that there is light on the other end of the tunnel and you will get there. Hugs,
    Cindy

  34. Jennifer
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    in it with you…right there with you. sigh.

  35. Sarah Ford
    Posted December 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    The cat’s constant meowing this morning made me mad (I had already fed her!) so I shouted at her. She looked at me with a long hard stare….. and then meowed at me again! I thought I had calmed down but driving to work this morning heard an old song that has never had sad connotations before and just let loose with the tears. Felt so much better by the time I got to work – just had to mop up a bit of mascara!!

    Even though we shouldn’t need ‘permission’ to do this, its great to know that it IS okay when you need to. Thank you.
    Sarah

  36. Posted February 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! I haven’t followed you for some time now because I have been one busy mama…and just now I thought I should see how “Superhero” is doing. This posting is everything I needed to read to end my evening. I’m certainly not alone.

    warmly,

    Miranda

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