I figure you have all been crying. It's hard not to. The pain and the loss are so great, there seems to be no way not to cry.
So, I am going to repost something from a long time ago. Because what the various experts are saying is that while it's good to calmly and supportively talk with your child about what's going on, you should address their questions (if you can—Diana's main question was: Why?), but let them move on.
The thing is, of course, that for many people, parents and others, it's not so easy to move on. And so you end up crying reading the newspaper over breakfast (I'm speaking theoretically here, of course), which is not the most excellent for your child's mental health.
The solution? Books that make you weep. If you happen to have a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit handy, this can easily explain your weeping. And in fact, if you are just feeling the awful, pent-up bottled feelings and are unable to weep? These books will help you there, too.
I've talked about my irrational attachment and inability to think critically about the books of my youth, but I didn't mention a sort of subset of that: the books that, no matter how I am feeling otherwise, always reduce me to tears. It's almost as if it's mechanical.
Even with my now strong conviction that this excellent book is trying to play out some sort of hidden Christian theological message, when I get to, "and so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture books and a lot of rubbish…" it's all over. I can still read, but my eyes are not dry.
Why is that? My children don't seem to feel it. They're absorbed, concerned, but it seems to me that there is something profoundly connected with being older and oh-so-aware of mortality that makes it happen. And, come to think of it, it's not just books of my youth.
I don't even really like this book that much; it can seem sentimental (duh) and smarmy (though Diana, when young, went crazy for the part about glittering Polaris), but something about the child's being born—it just slays me, and I have to take a break because there's a lump in my throat, and whatever child I am/was reading to at the time will look up at me to see what the delay is all about, and seeing me look ridiculous will (kindly) look away till I pull myself together.
Does this happen to anyone else?
Another thing that can help you feel better, possibly? Donating here.
8 thoughts on “If You Need to Cry, a Repost”
Yes, crying off and on for three days now. Also yes, trying not to pile my emotions onto my daughter but needing to express them for my own mental health. And even more yes, The Velveteen Rabbit and O. T. D. Y. W. B. I even agree with you about not liking it that much but crying over it every time anyway.
Also, does anyone else cry at marching bands? What is it about them? I can’t watch town parades without falling apart.
I am immune to marching bands, so that’s nice—you are making me feel powerful and stoic. I will keep acting powerful and stoic, while keeping The Velveteen Rabbit handy to explain any aberrations, that should keep me appearing cool and on top of things.
On The Day You Were Born gets me every time. I can’t finish it. And these days are hard. My kids are too young, so they remain blissfully oblivious.
And we, as adults, try to find a way to make the empathy turn into sympathy and then into sadness and then (hopefully) into memory.
I’m with you — on both of those. I hadn’t thought about the second one in years and am tearful just now remembering it.
Thank you for this dear post.
I am a mess with both of these as well, and with that dreaded “I Love You Forever…” book that I just refuse to read now. My kids are unaware as far as I know. We chose not to bring it up because we didn’t want to put it on them. If they hear about it and ask about it we are prepared for a conversation, but if they can get by without knowing? Man, I wish I didn’t know. I am on the verge of tears all the time right now.
Mine is, “Dog Heaven”.
Also crying intermittently here. I keep on remembering what Mr. Rogers said is a good response, “Look for the helpers. The helpers will come.”
Mommies best kisses makes me tear up so sweet. And other books that are my kids favorites from when they were tiny. I think more the memory of them wanting them read again and again and holding them on my lap. We waited to talk about it all but heard parts in a cab and then it was brought up during mass. My 10 year old only noticed and we had a good quality discussion. My younger has not heard about it.
My crying book is “One Candle,” about the family who celebrates Hanukkah every year by making a candle out of a potato, to remember how their grandmother and great aunt risked their lives in a Nazi concentration camp to make a single candle from a stolen potato to “lift their souls to the stars”. We read it this weekend, and I wept openly. My kids think I’m crazy, but the book did hide my grief over the recent news, I think.