At thanksgiving this year it’ll be 4 years since my dad died. A lot of things in my life have gone better and worse in that time. Even though I feel like everything I write here about him is sad I actually feel pretty good about where and when he left us.
This is the only way he would have ever seen any of the shows I’ve worked on and been proud of.
It isn’t great but there are silver linings.
And one of those silver linings is that in the last four years I’ve finally learned how to cry properly. Don’t get me wrong, I cried before he died, I’m sure, probably, I must have.
But now I’ve learned how to (‘enjoy’ is the wrong word) appreciate it, experience it in a transitory way, not get mired down in it, use it as a cathartic release.
Before he died I hated crying, I resented the mere fact of it and anyone who I caught being so weak as to do it. I resented any time that I would be subjected to it by my own self (or anyone else for that matter). I would scrunch up my face and hold my breath, I would immediately have a massive headache from my meager and herculean attempts to thwart the inevitable. I would need a nap or be forced to walk around the rest of the day feeling completely spent and useless, volatile, a power plant permanently stuck at the moment before the meltdown.
Now I just do it. In my living room, on the subway, in Times Square, wherever I happen to be reading a book. And then it’s done. I almost take pride in how a puppy food commercial can leave me with a pretty little pearl down my cheek.
I had to learn that crying doesn’t make you lesser because the tears made their way out. It isn’t a trick designed to leave you depleted. It’s a thing you can use to your advantage. You can use this thing to feel better, the way that doctors advise masturbation as an aide for menstrual cramps.
Lean into it.