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Like Many of You, I've Shed Some Tears and It's OK.

Updated: Aug 10, 2020

I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced some level of anxiety with the rise of COVID-19. But I think some of us may have underestimated the sadness that would come as the pandemic matured. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in therapy it’s that the only way to move on from things like sadness, or even anger, is it to allow yourself to fully experience that emotion.

Obviously in order to fully experience an emotion you need to come to the realization that that emotion exists in the first place. For me, coming to that realization took a few different experiences over the last week. But I want to use this opportunity to tell you about the experience that caused me to cry for first time since all of this began.

Yes, I cried. I didn’t even see it coming. I’m so blessed that I haven’t lost any family, friends, coworkers or really anyone I know directly. But I cried nonetheless and it happened when I saw what I can only describe as the LOVE and FEAR that a man feels for his grandmother. I was in my kitchen preparing something for dinner when I heard yelling coming from downstairs on the street. I looked out and saw a young man and an older woman standing face to face. The yelling grew louder and so I opened my window to hear what was going on. I wondered if I needed to call for help.

What I heard broke my heart. The man was begging his grandmother to go back inside. He kept repeating “you need to go back inside, it’s not safe for you out here.” The older woman seemed confused and frustrated. She was dressed up as if she intended to do some shopping on her own. She was visibly elderly, perhaps in her 80s. He continued to plead with her, “grandma, please go inside, you’re gonna get it!” Frustrated, she continued to push past him. She even slapped him with her purse to get him out of her way. I imagine she felt angry and confused and perhaps didn’t fully understand why he wasn’t letting her go. The man couldn’t stop his grandmother and she left down the sidewalk. He collapsed to the ground, dropped his head between his legs, and began to sob loudly. The crying was loud enough for me to hear all the way up in my kitchen. He then yelled out “What the f*ck is happening!” And just screamed this loud shriek in total frustration, fear and hurt.

THIS BROKE ME. I closed the window and went to the lobby of my building to get the mail. I think I was pretending that seeing that didn’t impact me. But it did. Suddenly, I started crying. And I said out loud to myself, “My God that was sad”. This is sad. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be. This isn’t normal.

When I got back upstairs I said to my roommate, “seeing that made me so sad”. I let myself feel that emotion. This is what I learned to do in therapy and I was practicing it because this is how we survive. We need to allow ourselves to feel sad. We need to allow ourselves to feel broken, even for a few minutes. Once we accept that we are sad and temporarily broken, we can heal and move on from this. And we will move on. This will end and life will go back to somewhat normal. And no, it won’t be how it was before. Nothing ever is exactly how it was before because when we experience things, it changes us. And this has changed all of us. But we will get through this because we are all in this together.

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Unknown member
Dec 03, 2021

Another great read. The fear of loss has definitely loomed over me these past years. When you realize how much people mean to you, and are forced to contemplate a life without them, it can really break your heart. Even people we aren't close to, who we nonetheless hold in high esteem, can bring out that kind of compassion in us. The past couple of years have served as a strong reminder to cherish the people we know, and take advantage of every day we have with each other. Hopefully, you're surrounded by family, friends, and acquaintances alike, who all add a richness to your life. Embrace them. Best wishes.


Unknown member
Apr 09, 2020

Dear Erick,

After reading your post, I’m reminded that we’re all in this together. No one could anticipate the gravity and magnitude of this pandemic could yield until we hear or see the news and the number of cases in the United States and globally.

I have nothing but respect, empathy and compassion for all the first-responders, healthcare workers, police, firefighters, who put themselves and their lives in harms way.

When I served in the military during Desert Shield / Gulf War era, I was overcome with grief and broke down after a few months after the war. It took me by surprise as I felt this wave of unexpected emotions crash over me without warning because I was not…


Unknown member
Apr 08, 2020

Dear Erick,

Thank you for sharing this. I too have cried. I’m lucky, I’m retired and my husband normally works from home 4 days a week. My heart breaks for those who have lost friends and family and for those who are forced to be away from their partners, friends, and family. Again, thanks for sharing and the weather reports too.


Al Ridolfo

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