Season of Sadness

 A few nights ago, I was at a beautiful dinner with some of the loveliest people.  One of them said something that while ordinarily would have certainly made me sad or worried, on this night brought tears to my eyes.  I blinked rapidly for a minute, but couldn’t hold it.  I had to excuse myself from the table and cry on a bench in the ladies’ room.  What is wrong with me?  I thought, sitting in the restroom while outside my friends had normal, jovial conversation.

The next morning, while driving, I cried again. Uptown Funk came on and it reminded me of Dark Lord Funk (watch it, you guys) which reminded me of Harry Potter, which reminded me of how Mrs Weasley had to defend her daughter when she had already lost her son and I cried. I swear. That happened. Again I thought, What is wrong with me?

It is my season of sadness, and it is also the season of sadness for a lot of my beloveds. So there’s the sadness that comes from my personal world and the sadness I absorb, and the places they intersect. So I cry. At dinner, in the car by myself, in the elevator, on the sidewalk, in the car with a friend, in the car with my son.

Again and again I ask myself, What is wrong with me?  The answer is nothing (well…a lot of things are wrong with me; but this crying is not evidence of anything in particular).

Again and again, the witnesses to my tears ask me, alarmed, Are you okay?  I am.  I am okay, I will be okay.

Sadness doesn’t have to kill me, it isn’t my end state. Though it can sometimes feel that way, being sad right now doesn’t mean I will be Sad Forever. It has taken me several years of sad season to get to this:

There are some things that are sad. I am sad about them.  So I cry. And it feels kind of good.

I love you.  If you’re sad, I hope you cry.  I hope it feels good, and I hope you remember that the sadness will swell and lift you and then put you right back down where you were, or a couple of feet over.  Don’t do anything rash, don’t try to chase it away.  Let it pass.  It will pass, and it will come back again, just as certainly.  You will survive it if you allow yourself to.

Memorial
by Gina Myers

for J

In my life so much happens
that I would like to write about,
but then something else happens
& things are always happening.
You, my friend, are underground
& will always be there. I did not
help you, but you always helped me.
When I was an atheist, I believed
in people. Now as a nihilist, my grief
has no hope. And I could say
there is no reason to keep going,
but then I think of, I think of you.

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