Before Tom died, I hardly ever cried. Even when he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, I didn’t cry much. He was crying a lot, and I felt had to be strong and positive, or he would have felt even worse. I tried to offset his crying by not crying. When I did cry, it was in my car, alone, when it was dark.
Now I’m a sap. I cry at the drop of a hat. I can be fine, and suddenly some small occurrence, a memory or song, and conversation will bring on the tears. I cry violently sometimes at home by myself – really let it rip. Yeah, cry me a river.
I don’t know if this is temporary or the new me. I have a feeling I will remain a crier moving forward. I’m still not real comfortable crying in front of others, but sometimes it comes over me and I can’t stop it. I always feel a little better after it happens.
When Tom was dying, some of our closest friends or family would cry in front of me. It almost made me mad, because I wouldn’t let myself cry freely. I was never a public crier. But looking back, I wish I hadn’t been so stoic and wept openly instead of holding it inside, my throat tight, my heart aching.
I regret not crying with Tom in the early days of his illness when he walked around the house saying repeatedly that he loved me and was sorry — like this horrible illness, his nightmarish fate — was his fault. I wish I would have embraced him and cried hard.
I don’t have too much remorse about how I handled the year Tom was sick and died, but I wish I didn’t hold back the tears. I would have been better off for it.