I have said quite a few times on this blog that I am not a crier. I do not cry over normal things — a rough day or when I have been mistreated. No, for those days I rant. I stand up for myself, and I do what I can to make it better. When I do cry, the tears flow for what I cannot control. For moments that are no longer possible. I cry when I witness the human yearning for the physical touch between two people that is no longer possible, or for the experiences in my life that are no longer possible.
Yesterday someone at work asked the question of what recent movie or television show made us cry. It got me thinking.
My initial answer was the television show: Parenthood. I could not remember the most recent TV show or movie, and that was the first show that came to mind. There was an episode a few months ago, where the daughter from one family was going off to college. When her parents said goodbye at the airport, she acted like it was no big deal that she was leaving them, and walked off towards her gate. A few moments later she walks back and embraces her parents, and the moment I see them embrace I am bawling. It is a random moment of sobbing that I never expected, and the thought that comes to me: I never experienced my parents sending me off to college. My tears are from an experience I never had.
After thinking about all that, I remembered the exact show I most recently watched. It was a Showtime series that just ended called: The Big C. Yes, the show was about cancer. The main actress in the show is Laura Linney and because I like her so much I watched her show, even though it was about her having cancer. Yes, it was depressing at times, and yes the final few shows were very depressing, and yes I cried. I got to thinking though, in some ways the show is brilliant. Why you might ask? Because it was about reality. How many shows actually talk to you about what it might be like to go through having cancer?
For this show, Laura’s character has a son and she struggles with what it will be like for him if she dies. She struggles so much that she rents a storage unit and buys him a present for all his future birthdays (a car for his 21st, and many other great gifts for his other birthdays) and if she dies she wants him to have a key to the storage unit. Then one day near the end of the series she decides that she wants to see his face open each gift. She wants to experience each of those birthdays with him. So, yes, she takes them to the storage unit and they open his gifts together, laughing and crying together.
I cried, and cried, and cried watching that episode. I cried for the birthdays I did not have with my parents, I cried for my friends and coworkers who have lost their family and friends to cancer. I cried for the longing of losing someone. I cried for someone nearing death pondering what they will miss out on. And, I wonder, did others cry like I did when they watched this episode?
I am the unexpected crier. I cry at the strangest times, when emotion hits me strong, and I often do not cry when most might expect it. We are all wired differently and our deep triggers move something inside that open the flood gates and we are never the same.