The Last Time You Cried and Why

Image courtesy of The Reluctant Grandmother
Image courtesy of The Reluctant Grandmother

I send writing prompts to three friends every Monday.  It started as a way to help a friend who wants to be writing more in order to remember things about her husband who died last year.  Then a writer friend talked about not writing right now and wanting to, so I offered to include her in the prompts.  When another friend saw the result of a prompt I’d sent the second friend, she wanted in too.  So, I’m up to three.

But today has been an off one for me.  A nagging dread has kept me from falling into mindful/mindless absorption in making a collage, or reorganizing my study or fiddling with poems. Is it that I’m working on my memoir, writing about a particularly difficult patch in the months after Eric died, a part of the story I haven’t told yet, which means reading those journals again and living with some of that pain present?  Not that it isn’t present on some level anyway.

I was having trouble coming up with a prompt for my friends until I got in the shower late this afternoon and started scrubbing at the nasty scrape I got on my knee when I tripped running last week.  It hurt, I started to cry, and I thought, ah, the prompt.  Write about the last time you cried and why.

I remembered the side of Chris’s face swollen with scrapes last spring and I cried more.  I’d talked to Chris the day before and she’d told me, “I’m not having a very good day.”  She’d fallen that weekend out walking with her family and was sore and discouraged.  The next day she and Jon came to visit unexpectedly, arriving while I was at an appointment.  When I got home and went out on the back deck to greet them I had to suck in my shock.  Chris looked so banged up and battered, with red scratches covering one side of her face. Battered by cancer.

In the shower I thought about how much physical limitation Chris had to live with, and then she still died.  I cried.  I cried because I’m close to a lot of people who have a serious illness, love someone with a serious illness, or have lost someone to illness.  I cried because the list of people I include in my healing meditation every day mostly die rather than get better and then I include on the list those left grieving.  I cried because my knee hurts and is taking a long time to heal and interferes with much of what I want to do.

Then I turned off the shower, dried off, dressed my knee and sat down to write.  To myself and to my friends.

 

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