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  • Writer's pictureTracy Bottiglieri

Sometimes You Just Have To Cry

I have been walking around with a sadness that I can't shake lately. Not depression, but missing Joe so much it hurts. Yes, it has been 2 years. Wouldn't you think my heart might hurt a little less with time?

I remember meeting with another widow right after Joe passed away. Her husband had died tragically about 9 months before Joe. While I certainly wish this had not happened to either of us, it made me feel less alone. Someone else within my orbit was in a situation similar to mine. She truly understood what I was experiencing. And yet everyone grieves differently. Just because our husbands, whom we both adored, had died in an accident, it did not mean we were exactly alike. No one is. But the similarities were enough that we bonded over our shared stories. However, I could see that she was still viscerally aching from her loss. And I was at the beginning of mine, thinking I could not bear to cope with the pain for another day, let alone the 9 months ahead of me In which she was living. Little did I know how my "grief journey" would feel 2 years from Joe's death. Simply. Awful.

At least that is how I am feeling today. But not every day. Far from it! I seemed to find a way to cope fairly soon - finding things to look forward to doing. Although many times I was not anticipating "enjoying" these things, at least they were something to plan and keep me busy with while time was passing. Then COVID-19 came along and has made the passing of time so much more difficult. The things I planned, my "lily pads" as my therapist refers to them, involved socializing and travel. I have a feeling many of you can relate. Those adventures, friend/family visits, social events, etc. were all taken away. And I am dealing with the effect of a quiet calendar. Too much time to think and feel and yearn. And consequently, I am feeling extra sad today.

Sometimes you simply have to cry. Today I was sitting on my deck, listening to the birds, feeling a light breeze, hearing the laughter of young people at a small backyard gathering at my neighbors' house, and I just couldn't keep the ache inside anymore. So I sat and just cried. And cried. And thought of how much I missed Joe. And how I wish he was able to be enjoying this moment with me. What he was missing out on. Especially with our twin boys' graduation coming up. Wait...! As I write this, I realize...THAT IS IT! I couldn't put my finger on it until now. He is supposed to be here for this time. It is one of the first big milestones that he is missing. And I know he will be here in spirit, and I will make sure he is "here" as we celebrate the boys. But he should PHYSICALLY be here. This is a big one! College graduation. And this is the reason you should journal. I literally had an epiphany while writing. And you, dear friend and reader, are hearing it in real-time. I feel so much better after my release through the tears and the understanding that the reason I was feeling his absence so strongly was because I wanted him to be here for our sons' graduations.

I don't know when I will stop having these heart-aching moments of loss. And I am okay with that. In fact, I can't imagine not having them. Even so, I continue to be motivated by creating happiness and special moments in my life and the life of others. I simply put one foot in front of the other and try to carry on with my life. Just like all of us, right? I give myself permission to cry when I have to release my sadness. I also allow myself to feel bad for Joe, our boys, our families, our friends, and me because as much time has passed, it is a significant loss. It will always be a significant loss. It is important to move forward with our lives, all the while carrying Joe with us. Just as he would want us to do.


Learn a little more about crying here: (click on image)

Taken from an abridged version of an article that appears in the March 07, 2016 issue of TIME.

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