To Cry

25 Feb

She was ready for a shower. The day  long. The time stressful. The mind muted.

What was that  that Malcolm and Donaldbain said upon their father’s murder in Macbeth

Our tears are not yet brew’d/ Nor our strong sorrow/Upon the foot of motion.

Keep busy, and the emotion won’t get to you.

Shiva houses are busy places, especially when you’re not the mourner, but just the child of one. Chairs need to be rearranged, phones answered, messages taken and forwarded.  Food needs to be organized, prepared, cleared. There is no time to mourn for the mourner’s child, there is too much to be done.

But now she was home. And she was tired. And with the slowing motions of the day, the sorrow crept up and tapped on her shoulder. One minute she told it. I’ll recognize and embrace you in a moment; I’m going to shower and there I will cave. I will let you envelop me, crush me, overwhelm me. But I will be alone, and the water will soothe and mingle with my tears, so it will be ok.

She was ready for a shower and stepped into the tub. She was eager to cry. Ready for the catharsis. But the water was cold. She turned the knob; it would turn no more. The water was warm, but too cold. She was back in camp where showers were often cold and pressure low, and movement had to be fast. But she couldn’t move. She was frozen. The tears stopped, and mind blocked. Survival mode was engaged, to just get clean and out of the shower fast.

But she wanted to cry. She needed to cry. Cry away from her kids and her husband looking on sympathetically, but powerless. Urgently  she turning the knob though she knew it was futile. The water was cold. And then she cried. Not for her loss, not for her grandfather, not for the clenched fist around her heart. She cried that she couldn’t cry.

Bent over, dank clumps of hair matted her shoulders and she held herself and shivered. Tears fell, and her body shook. And she was cold. The water was cold. So cold. And she cried for her sorrow’s loss.


Posted by on February 25, 2014 in Family, Memoir, Writing


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “To Cry

  1. D

    February 25, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Sorrow in real life. Exactly. It’s not when you close your door and are finally alone, but when you’re walking down the avenue with errands to run, or at your child’s siddur party. Carry tissues always. And it’s none of their business, so tell them you have allergies. Beautifully written and expressed.

    • TooYoungToTeach

      March 3, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Thank you. (it seems so weird to thank someone for such a post – but coming from you, I feel validated)

  2. Princess Lea

    February 25, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Emotions cannot be summoned at whim.

    We have this week of “official” mourning, and then the aveilim are harshly commanded, “Get up! Move on!” The aveilim were able to wallow in shiva, while the grandchild wasn’t.

    When my grandfather died when I was nine, I was ashamed that I wasn’t upset. I was tearless. Then one night, weeks later, his smiling face popped unbidden into my mind’s eye, and I wept over my teddy bear. I’ve always hated crying in public, and no one knew then; I just sniffled in bed for a while. I understand the desire to cry without an audience; it is often something that has to be done on one’s own.

    I think you would really appreciate the books of Brene Brown. I’m literally calling her name out on the street to random passerby, that is how life-changing her work is.

    • TooYoungToTeach

      March 3, 2014 at 12:02 am

      You keep mentioning her (Brene is a female name, right?) I might actually have to check her out!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: