Crying, Not Sorry
I am crying, and I am not sorry.
I am admittedly rationing the amount of news coverage I am currently ingesting. I am accessing, to the best of my ability, the least biased reporting as is possible. I want to remain aware of what is happening, without allowing myself to become saturated or politicized.
As I am consciously participating in the news coverage my heart and my body are responding with incredible waves of both excruciating pain and exhilarating celebration. I am seeing before me and feeling within me what seem to be the broadest ranges of human experience. I am watching, in real time, as precious souls are leaving the planet in unprecedented numbers. I am witnessing as health care professionals deliver not only uncharted medical care but end of life companioning. The best and the most painful aspects of humanity are playing out before me. It is stunning at a level that truly defies description.
A dynamic has become clearer to me throughout all of this that I find to be particularly curious and downright confounding. As I listen to interviews with family members and also medical workers directly impacted by this virus and its effects, it is quite common for those being interviewed to be moved to tears. I not only fully understand that, I most often join them. It is equally as common for those shedding tears to apologize for the fact that that they are crying.
Why do we as people with hearts and emotions apologize for crying when a natural and beautiful response is initiated by stimuli that warrants such a response?
Maybe it is just me, but I feel as if the apology is far more warranted when tears are dammed and suppressed at times when crying is the most appropriate response there could possibly be.
I do not want to be a human being that feels the need to apologize when my heart and my compassionate nature move me to tears. I tried to deaden my sensitivity for decades. I tried to maintain the familial stoicism that I grew up with long after I knew deeply that it was not my natural way of being and relating. It is not my goal to watch people dying without a hint of painful response. It is not my aspiration to witness monumental heroism without becoming misty and moved. It is not intrinsic for me to spiritually bypass the current human devastation with platitudes that lift me up and out of true connection and deep belonging.
This dynamic was supremely emphasized for me one recent evening when I was listening to a nurse describe being with a woman dying of Covid-19. She was Facetiming with family members so they could witness their loved one die. The toll the experience was having on this nurse was devastating and palpable. She began to cry as she told of the experience. She immediately apologized as she tried in vain to suppress the tears. As she did so I could feel my own tears welling up and spilling over. For a moment I found myself resisting the need to remove my glasses so that my husband would not know that I was crying.
I weep with what I am seeing happening in our world today. I weep with those suffering. I weep with the illness, death, fear, sudden poverty and I weep equally with the transcendent acts of courage, bravery, and heroism. I weep openly and shamelessly. I do not apologize for my sensitivity and empathy. I do not apologize for my connection and caring. I am not sorry that I have reacquired my feeling nature after decades of addiction and suppression.
I am sorry for those who cannot allow the tears to flow at such a troublesome time. I am sorry for the disconnection that places statistics in place of human lives. I am pained for those who use this pandemic to push their ideology and agenda.
At a level you are among the dead.
I cry for you, and I am not sorry. It is proof that I am alive and that I am connected and that I care.
Holy water tears. I feel them and I let them flow.
No apology needed.