Tuesday, April 22, 2008

An untimely departure

It's been a while since I've cried. I haven't felt the need, really. But yesterday, I got a call that a friend/co-worker passed away. It was quite a shock and I still haven't fully processed it. When I got the call yesterday, I ended up doing a combination of acting normal (making the kids dinner and helping Megan with her homework) and alternated it with rushing to the back room where the kids couldn't see me and bursting into tears. I don't normally cry in front of my children. I don't think that there is anything wrong with crying in front of your kids but I think at some point, you need to make the conscious choice that you either do or you don't. But if you decide to cry, I think you need to turn on the waterworks with some degree of frequency so the kids are accustomed to it. My problem (if you can call it a problem) is that I'm not a huge crier to begin with so my crying jags are few and far between. So, when I do cry- it's a BIG deal. This ends up freaking my kids out. Case in point- Megan's first day of school when she didn't get off the bus at the bus stop and I spent 15-20 minutes trying to figure out where she was and who could have potentially abducted her. When Megan saw me cry that time she freaked out so bad I found her hiding in a closet. So right or wrong, I tried to hide it from them and after they were done eating dinner, I shoved them outside to ride their bikes while I tried to compose myself and pack for my upcoming business trip.

A while later, I went outside to call them in for bed. Megan commented to me, "Your face is so red. Why is your face so red?" I decided to be honest with her. I told a friend of mine got really sick and I was sad and I had been crying. She looked me up and down and said, "Hmmm. I didn't see you crying. I don't think you were." Oh well so much for being honest. I just assumed she didn't get it . That is until I put her to bed. She again asked why my face was so red and asked why I had been crying and I gave her my same response, "Baby, Mommy's sad." I shut the door to her room and walked down the hall. A moment later, her door opened, she ran out and just threw herself on me. She hugged me tight. Tighter than I think she ever has. She didn't say a word. She didn't need to. She hugged me and that is what I needed.

In hindsight, I probably should have canceled my business trip. The day was extremely emotional. As I was driving to the airport, I received a request to write my thoughts about my co-worker- a eulogy of sorts. I knew I needed to do this but I also knew it would be sad for me to recollect. I had visions of me sobbing on the plane freaking out the person sitting next to me. Lucky for me, I was assigned to an exit row (which is always a bonus in my book) and lucky for everyone else on the plane, there wasn't anyone sitting right next to me. As I wrote, I cried. I noticied the flight attendant nervously pacing back and forth giving me sideways glances. At first, I thought she was feeling bad for me and then I thought, "Oh man, she thinks I'm crazy and here I am sitting in the exit row, all alone with no one to stop me should I decide to pull the latch on the exit door at 30,000 feet." It was then that I realized, she probably wasn't concerned about me but rather the rest of the passengers with the crazy, weepy lady in the exit row.

1 comment:

Erica said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Jen. Losing someone close to you is so hard. I hope you can find comfort at this difficult time.

Kids are amazing at what they can understand and how they display empathy. Your daughter sounds so sweet.