The Scream, Edvard Munch
I’ve never been a crier. Didn’t believe in it. In fact, if memory serves me correctly, I have cried approximately three times in my life prior to Saturday. The first time that I cried was the day I was born and the only reason for that was the doctor slapped me and caught me off guard. The second time I cried was at my father’s funeral service, the second one in Washington, DC. You have to give up a few tears for daddy! Finally, I shed a tear when Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination in Grant Park back in 2008. Yes sir, real men don’t cry!
That was until I got the news that my nephew had been shot. Then I cried like a baby. I cried because he was hurt. I cried because I couldn’t protect him. I cried because he was alive and I had no idea of the severity of his injuries. I cried because his future was so bright and full of promise. I cried because I was mad. I cried when I found out he was going to make a full recovery. I cried for two families that will never be the same. I cried for the man who attacked my nephew. I cried because violence makes me sick!
I’ve cried so much lately and I’m getting pretty good at it. Brother, I’m in big trouble if I see a “save the puppies” or “feed the children” commercial. But the upside is that I felt better after crying. It is a natural and free stress reliever. I can’t imagined how I would have internalized my grief had I not found an outlet for it. And I am not sure that I even want to know the answer. All I know now is that I will not try to stifle myself the next time my eyes want to turn on the faucets. But at the same time, I hope that I will never again have to experience something like this.
Oh, real men do cry! They just don’t let you see it!