My Life as a Dog

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why Am I Such a Baby?

This morning I attended a viewing with my parents for the mother of a family who lived right behind our family for thirty some odd years during my growing up years. I attended the viewing mostly because I was friends with their daughter who is the same age as I am. I had not seen her since our 10 year high school reunion 12 years ago and she currently is living in Dubai. So the chances of seeing her any time soon would be slim.

I didn't really have a strong emotional response before the viewing. I liked the deceased lady. She was very nice and what I thought to be a good mother. But mostly I felt sad for her children who were left here without their mother and her husband left without his wife.

Soon after arriving early in the viewing my parents made their way over to the grieving husband. When he talked to us his eyes filled with tears as he told us what an amazing woman his wife was. I, being the emotional guy that I am, could not help myself. I was doing my best to hold back the tears. It wasn't easy. I could feel my eyes filling to capacity. At any moment the damn was going to break.

It wasn't until later that I got to talk to my childhood friend, his daughter, that I saw her emotion and it pushed me over the edge. The water gates opened. Here it was a time when I should be strong and a support for her but I couldn't even hold it together myself. Sad. Talking to her was even a chore because I was so choked up. It took me a several moments just to gain some composure.

Why does this always happen to me?!

In this case, the best I can figure is that I pictured myself in their shoes and thought of how I would feel on this occasion. I can only imagine the wreck I will be when that day comes.

It's not like I'm a guy who has a problem with crying. (Obviously, I do it all too freely!) I even love a good movie that can make me cry. But that is different somehow.

Empathy, it's a good quality to have, I know. But a little control would come in handy.