Image: One Love Photo


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Monday, October 11, 2010

#105: HappySadScared Tears

I cry a lot but I'm not a cry baby. There's a difference.

You see, my brain only thinks in exaggerations, so my emotions are BIG and WILD like tidal waves, and as a result I'm frequently in tears. I cry when I'm feeling satisfied with life (happy tears!), when I'm sad (duh), when I'm angry (which always seems to detract from my anger's credibility), and also when I'm scared (like when I watched the creepy dark-haired little girl from The Ring crawl out of that television).

Last night another unexpected emotional tidal wave hit, and Brian, half asleep, heard me sobbing in bed:

Me: (Sniffle, sniffle.)
Brian: Why are you crying?
Me: I don't want you to die.
Brian: What are you talking about?
Me: I used to think that if we ever broke up for whatever reason, I'd be okay - I'd be upset, obviously, and depressed for a while, but not, you know, destroyed. But the problem is now that we're married I love you even MORE than I did last year. It was easier to imagine you gone when I loved you a little less. But now I don't want to ever be away from you. What if you die young? Or what if I died at age 35 - what would you do???
Brian: [He turns away.] I have an itch - can you scratch my back?

And that's when I realized that being under the warm covers scratching the middle part of your husband's back, the part that he can't reach, is such an awesome thing to be able to do on a chilly Sunday evening. Life is good. And maybe I'm happier than I think. Maybe we all are.

While it's so utterly sad that we won't always have each other, and while it's scary to know that one day one of us will be lying in bed alone and there will be no one asking for a back scratch or no one available to be a scratcher, I'm quite happy and thankful that tonight none of that is true. We love each other and we live together - what more do you really need?

I cried a lot of tears last night. But all this really means is that my life in the present is so full of joy; I've got a lot to lose, you see, and that's a good thing. It's much better than having a life with nothing and no one to lose. So maybe my SadScared Tears are just there to remind me of how happy I actually am. They're a kick in the butt to be more grateful, too.

One of the bravest things I've ever done is get married. I thought I'd never do it - not after losing someone so special to me and knowing far too intimately the pain of such a thing. I never wanted to be vulnerable to that kind of loss again.

But fate favors the brave, and now I've got this incredible Love as my reward. And I don't think that I'll ever regret this gamble, not even when Brian is gone and the landscape of my life has changed.

There's a song by a band called Paramore that acts as the perfect soundtrack to the HappySadScared Tears that I shed about Brian. And you guessed it - every time I hear it on the radio while I'm driving I turn it up, sing along, and start sobbing like a damn fool. The song goes:

Maybe I know somewhere deep in my soul that love never lasts
And we've got to find other ways to make it alone 
and keep a straight face
I've always lived like this - keeping a comfortable distance
And up until I had sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness
Because none of it was ever worth the risk
But you are the only exception
And I'm on my way to believing

Photo credit


  1. "...What if you die young? Or what if I died at age 35 - what would you do???
    Brian: [He turns away.] I have an itch - can you scratch my back?"

    Soooooooooooo can relate! First off, Ben has woken up to the sounds of me sobbing in bed on several occasions. The reasons could be a be anything from a book I've read to a panic attack. Second, this has become by number one fear (which replaced my fear of never finding love) and Ben's reaction is so similar to Brians too lol.
    It doesn't help that 3 generations of women on my dad's side were widowed young. But then again on my mom's side my grandparents have been married 64 years and my parents 35.
    Of course, that reassurance is often overtaken by the panicked thought "But I look more like the women on my dad's side of the family!" as if being widowed is a genetic trait that can be inherited the same way as hair color, eye color or body build.
    I get scared even talking/writing about this type of thing usually, scared that if I focus on it it will happen.
    I agree, it's a double edged sword. The penalty for being happy in the present is knowing that you actually have something to lose in the future. But I wouldn't trade in the present happiness to allieviate the present fear of the future. Not for all the tea in china!

  2. You are not alone!

  3. You know these posts press all the right buttons with me.

    I read and I learn xx

  4. Over at people were talking about the fact that there's something about getting married that makes you think a lot about your own mortality. I guess when you've got a partner it's natural to have so many hopes and expectations attached to that relationship. You've got someone/ something to live for, something aside from your own hopes, goals, and bucket list. It's beautiful but scary all at once.

    So it helps when you've got a partner with an itchy back who is much more "in the moment" than his head-in-the-clouds, worry wort wife!


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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