Sunday, August 16, 2009


Crying. Over you...that Roy Orbison song.

My brother and I grew up without crying. Crying was a smacking offense. Crying made you weak. Vulnerable. You were told off for crying.

So, cry we did not.

I had behaved badly, and feared the worst. I went looking for my father, gave him a reasonably accurate report, then did something that - now I think about it - seems rather odd.
Like most boys, I sometimes allowed my conduct to deviate from the ideal: running around the house, gobbing on my brother, setting things alight. But the occasion I have in mind was different. Not because of the specifics of my crime, which I no longer recall, but because this time my father interrupted to tell me I was too old to cry. (How old? Somewhere between eight and 12, is my best guess.)
The Age - On Why We Cry

I learned the lesson so well that my children are shocked when they see me cry. Cry over real things.

Okay, I cry over books and movies - but in real life? Uh uh.

Except lately.

It is so embarrassing , I even cried during Mass. A beautiful Mass, yet sad. Sad because it brought to mind many things, rejection, pain of loved ones, demands, recent sad events, worry for those dear to me, the first of the last....

I brought these to God. And I cried.

I know God hears these prayers, sees these tears, ..and yet, my prayers seem futile.

But that is for another day.

For now, I pray for my friends, for their intentions, I love and care, I keep trying with loved ones.

I pray. I cry. Am sad.

I sing Abba - The Winner Takes It All..I don't wanna talk..cos it makes me feel sad...thinking I'd be strong there..But I was a fool, playing by the rules..The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall...

I think of Mother Teresa, who used to carry around a small reproduction of an old painting of St. Francis in which the weeping saint holds a cloth to his eyes. “He’s wiping his tears,” she would say, history rumouring that St Francis went blind through so much weeping.


Stephanie Mitchell said...

I used to be embarassed to cry, but several years ago I went through a crying stage too, and a friend of mine commented on how great it was that I just allow myself to feel, and not hold back. Her words were really healing to me.
I still feel embarased in certain situations - eg: where people might look down on me, but for the most part I just accept that sometimes I need to cry and I go with it.
Crying is a good thing. Embrace its healing powers Leonie.
Hugs Stephanie

Leonie said...

Srephanie, one of facebook (and IRL!) friends said that the times of stifling emotion too much must leave little footprints on us, on who we are..

Chris said...

Isn't it good for our children to see us cry so that they know how human we are and how much we need our God? Our Lord wept which shows us that crying is a perfectly good way of releasing our feelings. Crying shows intuitive strength of character as we recognise our feelings and express them. I'm not talking about loud crying that attracts attention which I know you wouldn't do but soft quiet tears that flow up from our deepest, innermost hurts and sadness. You are such a wonderful friend and I am crying too - for the little girl who wasn't allowed to cry and for you now because I love you and I share the feelings of my sister in Christ.

Leonie said...

Oh, Chris, now you are making tears come to my eyes again!