Release

June 14, 2006

For the first time since my mom died I truly cried last night. Once I was started it was hard to stop, and as I sobbed I could feel the tension that has been with me for weeks now relaxing. Afterwards I was totally spent and exhausted. It was as cathartic a cry as I've had in a long time.

In part the release was about my dad. My conversations with him over the past couple of weeks have allowed me to see just how blue he is now, and I've been privately very worried about him. I promised my mother that I'd look after him and make sure he was okay, but in truth only he can decide how he will approach grief and mourning. Yesterday, as a result of sending him a small Father's Day gift, I received an email of thanks from him. In it he elaborated on his plans for the near future and for the first time I heard a note of hope; an indication of looking up and ahead rather than down and behind.

My own experience tells me that he will cycle through periods of energy, hope, and planning for the future as well as periods of despair, sorrow, and gloom. For me being aware of his moods impacts me in a way I wasn't prepared for initially. When he is down it accentuates my fears about his death and the rather selfish feelings of isolation and abandonment that I have as a result. While I know this isn't true I feel as if everyone is leaving me behind and that soon I'll be utterly alone. Seeing a glimpse of positive from him yesterday gave me enough strength to let go of my fears, and more importantly, to release the pent up emotions about my mom's death, my situation in life, and my own fears about mortality.

Sometimes all you need is a good cry.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.