When the young woman behind the counter at the florist asked me what I wanted written on the banner that would be placed across the blanket of orchids on my husband’s coffin, I started crying one of those silent cries, smothered and restrained. Speechless, I gently took the pen out of her hand, turned the order pad around to face me and wrote the words on the sheet myself as tears fell on my fingers.
Widowhood has introduced me to many types of crying. The cry that doesn’t choke your words, but simply seeps out of your eyes. The scream cry that rockets out of your diaphragm. The uncontrollable snot-snorting sob that chokes your words and erupts in coughing. The muffled cry when you’re trying to hold back the tears, eventually your sinuses disobey and a headache explodes in your skull. The cry that sends shock waves, crumpling your body. The gut-wrenching, gaping-mouth, face-contorting, ugly cry. Irrepressible. Uncontrollable. You don’t get to choose your cry.