Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Public emotions

    Have you ever had some overwhelming hardships in your life and been out in public and suddenly lost control of your emotions . . . crying amongst strangers?  Or are you more stoic and no matter what has happened in your life . . . no ones knows because you don't share it and don't want to either?
     Does a stranger's word or touch pierce a hole to the emotional damn? Or does their inquiry cause you to clam up and avoid the issue that's on your mind?
      I had an experience where I was looking for a special card to say what I couldn't find the right words to express. A card that I hoped would be opened and read when my personal attempts to talk, to phone and understand had been refused and ignored.. The exchange started innocently enough. Her asking, "Can I help you?'
     "Just looking for the right card, not too insensitive, not too mushy, but simple, honest and real", I said. And the more she asked ,the more I felt the let down of tears starting on the inside. I was trembling slightly fighting the urge to let the tears flow openly. And then they came, big crocodile tears, no sound, just tears running freely down my face dripping unto my sweater. A bit embarrassed and yet needing an understanding heart at that moment. I couldn't speak. I swallowed hard. She gave me a tissue and a strong sincere hug. It gave me the strength to be able to compose myself and move on.
     And I did get the card. It said just what I wanted it to say. I hope it was taken that way.
     She made adifference to me that day because she honestly cared. I know because I have cared for others when they seemed to have a day like I was having. A word, a hug, a gesture makes all the difference.


  1. Those are the simple moments that remind us we are alive.

    I just know that that woman was also touched by your honest emotions. We live in a society where people are afraid to show grief. When I see newsclips of women in other parts of the world crying, wailing and shouting out their grief as they mourn the loss of their children, husbands, brothers or sisters, I often wonder, what is the matter with us that we don't allow ourselves to show such raw emotion?
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. May your card be received with all the love that you put into it. - G

  2. Yes, I have. When emotions well up like that, they won't be denied.

    I know if I had been that clerk, I would've been touched by your vulnerability. You gave her something real to think about, and that can only be a good thing.


  3. Your post made me remember when something like that happened to me after my late hubby had his heart attack. Someone asked me how he was doing and the floodgates opened. I wasn't embarrased but it was at my job so I didn't want anyone else in my business at that moment. After he passed away people were afraid to bring up his name to me. I would mention him a lot and it helped the others be more comfortable around me. As Georgina said, our society doesn't handle death well. It's sad really. Whoever gets your card is one very lucky person.

  4. Honest caring always makes me cry. Always.

    I am such a crier, crying is like breathing to me. I used to struggle when I cried in public, but not any more. I just let the tears flow and see where my emotions take me.

    Hope the peace from the card and the helper are still with you!

  5. The person who cared and hugged you was obviously touched by your emotions spilling over like that. I'm glad she was there for you just at that moment.

  6. a stranger's touch or concern will have me swimming in a pool of my own tears within minutes....i'm such a softie and sensitive person that way :)

  7. To:
    Georgina Dollface - I have noticed too that the western culture seems to want to hide their emotions of grief or sadness. I think writers have that desire to allow emotions to do what they do.

    Pearl - I couldn't control my emotion s that day. I think she had an empathetic heart already.

    Bouncin Barb - it's just like you to try to make others comfortable when you are the one grieving.

    Marion Williams-Bennet - it seems like there are days when I can join in with crying at the drop of a hat when someone else does.

    Thisisme - yes, she really made me feel better. I'm glad she took the time too.

    beth - sometimes I feel like a giant mushball. I am drawn to other "softies".

  8. You sound like a kind woman.