I am learning to cry! For people who already Do cry this may seem like an altogether sad thing. It's true, I am learning to cry out of loneliness, sadness, and anger because Ann isn't here. But I got the ability to cry driven out of me so early that it is something I haven't been able to do but once, since the night Ann died. I have wanted to cry often, felt the tightness in my throat, pain in my chest and stomach, but tears just wouldn't come. It helps to live alone, for me anyway, to learn to cry. For years I defined the presence of other people, Any other people, as unsafe. Ann is almost the only person I have cried in front of, since my father died when I was 15.
Last night I finished the third "Harry Potter" book, in which Harry was told that his father was alive in him. Ann and I were not related. So I wondered if I could find her traits which might have rubbed off, in the 30 years we were friends, and which were now a part of me. I remembered getting those taped books after my cancer diagnosis, when neither of us was sure I could tolerate chemotherapy and live. People in this area of the state were Still trying to get the books banned from the libraries, but our friends had thoroughly enjoyed them. My older sister, knowing my health outlook wasn't promising, asked if there was anything I really wanted. I really wanted to read those books! So I got them with her help.
After remembering this I remembered things Ann and I discussed about the books, the good lessons we thought they could offer kids, like, best friends quarrell sometimes, people under pressure are more likely to snap in anger, and there Are things worse than dying, like the dementors.
Then I started to cry because it had been enough years since we read the books together that if Ann were alive, she would have enjoyed our reading them together again, as I am enjoying rereading them.
And, knowing Ann was not physically present, I talked to her anyway, telling her how nothing filled the hole she had left in my life and that often life just feels like going through the motions, or living in a hollow shell, which I did not care much about. I said I wanted her to be happy. I also said I was angry with her for dying.
Then I realized I had been crying and was surprised. I am actually Thankful for this Pain Release Valve, even if it only helps temporarily. Over time, I suppose it will begin to relieve the degree of pain I feel. That is what I am told, anyway. It isn't pleasant, but I am Glad to be getting back a human ability taken from me so many years ago by cruelty.