I cannot cry. I dont understand.

by Eve
(NYC)

I would cry.
I want to.
I feel the ache, but I can't.
My love lost his sister.
No one saw it coming.
My mind froze.
I shook to my core.
But I could not weep.
I stood with him at her funeral.
As he tried to be brave,
A youthful bravado
he has long outgrown.
But I could not cry
This was not a formal funeral
of restrained mourning,
and rehearsed tributes.
This was a cauldron of bubbling, frothing grief,
Vibrating anguish that drowned
from the first moment.
Yet I could not weep.
My eyes saw her inconsolable father,
A widower,
who would face his bereavement alone.
a proud man shattered.
I could not cry.
I saw her sisters,
huddled in a quivering lot.
Faces swollen. contorted.
Eyes raining torrents.
Bodies heaving violently.
Voices in choked wails
muffled in each others sodden shoulders.
My heart reached out.
I yearned to run to them,
my family.
To embrace them.
But I was ashamed.
How dare I approach them dry eyed.
Yet I could not cry.
I dared not look upon her children.
Four fresh orphans.
The oldest on the cusp of womanhood,
bereft of her guiding light.
The youngest too young to understand
the force that has shattered her family.
The mind cannot grasp it.
The soul demands tears.
I yearn to oblige.
But I cannot weep.
I heard then a sound
that will haunt me for weeks.
Her youngest brother.
A grown man,
a father,
Young,
proud,
strong.
He rises to speak.
I recall not a word that he said.
Only the guttural sound
of a weeping so wrenching
I have never heard its equal from man or woman.
His piercing,
quaking,
staccato sobs,
shook the soul,
Reverberating through the speakers,
tearing at the heart
like claws.
His breaths were jagged,
sharp,
a liquid serrated blade.
His streaming tears,
Which his shut eyes,
could do nothing to stem,
spoke the words lost to his cries.
His sister is with their mother, he finally choked.
The men all break down. Tissues in every hand.
But I could not cry.

Why?
I cry in frustration
when I lose my necklace.
My tears come unbidden
when my love and I quarrel.
When I feel wronged.
Why
can I cry
only selfish
petty tears?
Why
can I only
use so beautiful a woman's gift
In so wasteful a manner?

My best friend,
since childhood
confides her loneliness.
She has never found love,
she longs for children,
she fears a barren future.
I hold her close.
But I cannot cry.
Even for her?
I am disgusted.
Even for she
who saved me
from isolation,
from fear
From grief,
from abuse?
Can I muster no tear
for her suffering?
Even for her my eyes answer.
My throat is tight.
My heart constricts.
I look at my babies,
the cherubic epitome of her dreams.
So out of reach.
I cannot cry.

My beloved sister in law,
my wise confidant,
my dear friend.
A mother,
With the spirit of a child,
She still
fills her room
with teddy bears.
Now bedridden.
Robbed
of even the most mundane delights.
She cannot read.
Walk.
Play with her children.
She is isolated,
fearful,
frustrated.
She cries,
I tell her she is loved.
I miss her companionship
so deeply
it aches.
I want
to validate her tears
with my own,
So she may feel less alone.
To feel her pain,
weep it with her
But I cannot cry.

I have sat with my grief,
tried
to let it take its course,
But it will not oblige me.
I cannot weep.

I yearn so deeply,
to give my tears for my loved ones.
To add my keening
to their chorus,
To tell them
what words are so
inadequate to say .
I want to weep
unselfishly,
for once,
please,
G-od,
for others.
To bathe my soul
with tears of empathy.
To shake my walls
with sobs of prayer.
But alas.
To my great regret,
My inner shame.
I cannot cry.

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