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Tuesday, December 29, 2009


"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."
Washington Irving

After surviving Christmas day, (a feat I would never have accomplished without Cuz), yesterday morning I strutted around, a peacock wearing makeup and feeling strong and enabled. A friend wanted to stop by. He came to pick up some cheese straws I made for him before Christmas. I had a call from the cleaners that I left a shirt there for two years and I should come and get it so they could do inventory. My friend offered to pick it up for me on the way here, and he walked through my back door with one of Clint’s shirts, the navy and white one with the tiny checks and the red polo player on the breast. That’s when I started to fall apart. But my friend never knew. What is wrong with me that I sat in my living room making small talk and acting as though the shirt were just another piece of laundry? What is wrong with me that I cooked supper for Kristy and Robert when all I wanted to do was cry?

I put on the shirt this morning, and the sleeves are nasty from me wiping my nose on them all day, but I won’t take it off. I repotted my orchids and went for a walk with one of Clint’s fleece vests over the shirt and I knitted on a lace shawl. I started to organize baskets of clothes for Goodwill and none of it did any good. I’m awash in tears and have been for hours, that hollow feeling back at my core, my nose gross and runny, my eyes puffy and stinging.

I’m trying to get a job and I called about it and no one called me back and that has happened before and I’m discouraged and beginning to have uncharacteristic self-doubt.

I’m finished spending energy trying to hold back tears. I even searched until I found the quote from Washington Irving so I could read it over and over for as many time as I need to. My tears are okay. They are mine, and I can let the flow any time I want. It hasn’t been 7 months since I lay with Clint as he died. Goddamnit, that is not enough time for me to be able to stop crying.

I just wish I had the guts to live up to my own words.

I'm going to sleep in the shirt and wear my pearls.

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