Strangely enough, the number one song the day I was born, “Cry,” by Johnny Ray, has some resonance for my life, though probably for everyone’s life. Johnny Ray’s advice is sound.
When my dad died there was a gap of time before the funeral — we had a service in Colorado Springs for friends and my dad’s co-workers there, and then we all flew to Montana (casket in baggage) where he would be interred in Billings near his dad’s grave and where his mom (and my mom) would be buried. I’d done everything I could to be strong for my mom and myself, but when it was over and the casket was lowered into the ground, I broke down and cried.
My mom gave me a nasty look and my cowboy aunts appeared embarrassed, but my grandmother — my dad’s mom — took me with her back to the limousine. We sat together a while and shared our feelings about all that had happened. My grandmother first said it was OK to cry. Then she said it was wrong for her to lose her son, that it was backwards. She then said that it was wrong for me to be without my dad when I needed him so much. She said it was better to honestly show your feelings, to cry when you’re sad, and so we both sat and cried together, holding hands, facing each other on the limousine seats. After a little while we stopped crying and shared my grandmother’s handkerchief. Then we went back out and joined the family, still holding hands.
As time passed, and the healing began, I pulled through more cleanly than did my brother or mom. I believe it is because I felt my feelings at that moment when they should have been felt and I had my wonderful, understanding grandmother to share them with. We cried together for the loss of a person we both loved. So, yeah. I’ll take Johnny Ray’s song, “Cry.”