the crying

early on in my grieving process, I discovered that grief–the crying–could strike me at any moment, including whilst sitting on the toilet or with a mouthful of spaghetti.

boom: you’re crying now.

interestingly, and having always been a crier, but one who worked hard to not cry so much, my experience with crying was that it usually took over and could be this all-encompassing experience with the power to detour a good chunk of time, the rest of the day, even. but the crying that struck in these ordinary and odd moments, well it felt more involuntary somehow, almost like hiccups.

like, oh I have the crying right now. ok.

and then, when the spell is over, you get on with whatever you were doing when it began. or in some cases, continue continuing on with the activity amidst the crying. it was almost like I became desensitized to it.

but there is another kind of crying, if you can call it that, that comes less frequently. occasionally I’ll be caught off guard by something ordinary that reminds and reveals to me just how much I have lost. that happened yesterday while I was trying to find something in my phone. one of the things my search unearthed was an unremarkable text exchange between Andy and me from October 2021–two months before he died.

as I read through the messages, I could feel the deeper grief–the wailing–coming on. so I let it toss me like a big ocean wave. that is the only option.

what was so inescapable to me in that moment was that I have lost my best friend. the one who, according to my internal gauge, was “on my team” in a way no one else has ever been. I use that particular turn of phrase because it was what he would say to me whenever I was upset or struggling: hey. it’s us. I’m on your team.

while we didn’t really ever do anything major like go on exotic trips or set lofty personal goals, we did enjoy our simple life together. we went to Target, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx. on rare occasion even Big Lots! before covid, we ate at a lot of mediocre restaurants. Andy always had to peruse the “woohoo shelf” (iykyk) whenever we’d go to Kroger. we took walks around whatever neighborhood we lived in. we watched countless tv series from his extensive dvd collection. we took turns reading aloud to one another, and we read books with his son before bed on the nights he was with us.

it was not fancy, but it was us. nearly every activity was peppered with his off-color jokes. anyone who knew Andy knew how much he loved to take jokes a bit too far–and then a little further. my joke is that annoying me was his “love language.” ba dum tss.

twenty-eight years ago today (1/5/95), Andy got clean–he was only 17 years old. and he died with 26 years, 11 months, and some change. he was brilliant, funny, insightful, articulate, fierce, persuasive, thoughtful, organized, and irreverent. and he was on my team.

I miss him.

during our “first look” on 8/18/19

4 Comments Add yours

  1. William Mitchell says:

    Beautifully moving ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica Raymond says:

    You honor him beautifully ❤️


  3. Mom says:

    This made me weep.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Petunia says:

    Thinking of you and sending you love and strength. He was a great friend to me during our divorces, I miss our talks. I can’t imagine what you are going through.

    Liked by 1 person

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