On my drive from Michigan to Florida, I listened to the end of Trevor Noah’s beautiful memoir, Born a Crime: Stores From a South African Childhood. When he described the pain he felt upon hearing that his mother had been shot in the head, his words resonated with me immediately.
I had to pause the book so I could take in how brilliantly he described my very own pain upon Rick’s death. I have often felt this pain over the past few months, and I had had these very thoughts: how often in my life did I cry over what I now perceive to be nothing in comparison? How many useless boys did I cry over as a teen? How many times did I cry in self-pity over issues that seem minimal now?
Nothing compares to the pain I felt upon losing my soulmate, my lover, my best friend, my world, my Rick.
And then I cried tears as I had never cried before. I collapsed in heaving sobs and moans. I cried as if every other thing I’d cried for in my life had been a waste of crying. I cried so hard that if my present crying self could go back in time and see my other crying selves, it would slap them and say, “That shit’s not worth crying for.’
My cry was not a cry of sadness. It was not catharsis. It wasn’t me feeling sorry for myself. It was an expression of raw pain that came from an inability of my body to express that pain in any other way, shape, or form.