A good cry

I was rolling along nicely, getting out and about, and staying dry-eyed for weeks. I was between “Should I be feeling this good so soon? Am I just an asshole?” and “I feel so good, I must be dealing with my bereavement much better than the average grieving asshole.” You notice that in both cases an asshole was the benchmark.

So I took a chance and went to the single most dangerous place in Chico in terms of likelihood of my getting out without sobbing. I don’t know what it is—how often we went there together, how I still look at all of the produce with Janice in mind, or that I see so many people I know. For a while I wouldn’t go to the Saturday farmers’ market at all—too many questions about Janice and too much sympathy for me, all of it out of love and much of it overwhelming. And I love the farmers’ market, so since I had spent hardly any time being sad recently, I thought I’d try it again.

I was doing nicely and I’d just gotten peaches when a guy says to another guy, “I’m just looking for my wife. She seems to’ve slipped away.” That’s all it took. My eyes filled up and I couldn’t speak. I’ve found a silent sob that in most public places is too quiet to attract attention, so—with big shades—I’m cool if I keep moving.

At the market, you can do a lot without saying much, and nobody hears the occasional sob; I got some apples without actually saying anything. I left anyway when an old fear came back, namely that I’d die sad and alone, finally more widower than anything else. His wife died, and then later he died, too, I think.

I also wanted to get where I could properly cry. Some people can do it anywhere, especially small people. Semi-silent sobbing is all very well at the market, although semi-silent won’t cut it at the co-op, another sensitive spot. As I started to tear up and choke up and feel a bit wild-eyed, I was also a bit glad. A good cry is a cleanse, and I guess I’d missed the renewal. I’ve been crying often since that Saturday, and I don’t mind if I’m not better than the average grieving asshole. Crying all day was tiring, then not crying any day was good for a while; now every day feels about right.

One year feels like a big deal, so it is. I can envision parts of the day, a walk and some music, and a friend has given us a fountain, so maybe we’ll dedicate it to Janice, or something equally sappy.