I can’t remember the last time I cried because someone died. Maybe it was when my Nana died. Odds are that I didn’t cry then either. And as the years go by, as I get older, there are more people I know who have passed on. Their deaths affect me deeply, every single one of them, despite the lack of tears. Because, in my own way, I grieve, too.
I wasn’t raised to hide my feelings. That’s a misconception when it comes to a lot of guys. The knock is that we are taught to deny and suppress those emotions in favor of stoicism, as if nothing affects us. But I grew up in a house of all females, and my emotional ceiling has always been pretty high. I know I can ride that roller coaster, but death is different.
You see, when faced with death I go inward. And not to press it down but to remember. I cycle through every memory I have of that person and I relive them. I feel those same feelings I felt at the time. And I honor them with those memories. So I don’t cry in sadness. I appreciate what we were able to have together in whatever form it took.
But I grieve, too. Because every one of those memories is finite, and no more will ever exist, not like that, not with them. I can go back to those places in my mind, or even physically, but no ghost haunts them to give me comfort. So I grieve… for what is now shackled to memory, to the shared experiences that are now just mine, and for the love that bound us no matter how far apart we were physically.
I grieve, too.