It’s not easy for me to see others cry openly. A discomfort at first, but more like envy as they allow their emotions to burst out rather than bury them deeper inside where they can ferment, and change the person you are. It’s also not easy to be present when others express their emotions, to listen without judgment. To just be. Listen. Engage. These are the things I have gotten better at over the years, but it’s still hard to let the tears out.
So much has already been said. I won’t pretend to be a huge fan. I am also not gonna lie that in those earlier moments of hearing the news, I went to my own loss. As when I heard about Papa, I was out walking the dog, and then again yesterday, and I let the tears come, surprisingly. But seeing others collapse has taught me that in this moment, it’s not about me. It’s about just being there for them. To hear the stories, to remember with them when they saw one of the greatest players do what he did best. And just grieve with them. Hold them. Let them bring it out. No judgment. No questioning. Just be there to wipe the tears, hear their pain, and hold them tight. It’s what others did for me when I lost someone.
It’s what we need to do as human beings when others are in pain. We get to be there for them. To make sure the tears run out, that they feel supported and safe, but most of all, they get to feel heard. We hear this over and over. We only live once, but as one of the cartoons said no, we die once but we live every day. We get to express gratitude for all the day we do get, and I hope the ones in my life know how much they are loved, and I will be always be there to wipe their tears away.