A Lot of Ways to Cry

Dear Darling Ones,

I just finished five hours of work,* put on Waxahatchee’s “Saint Cloud” record, and promptly burst into tears.

Gee whiz, Jodi’s crying again. Shocker. After all, my dad just died!

But these were not grief tears. Not happy tears or tired tears or oh my god I’m hilarious tears or hangry tears or bored tears or horny tears or lonely tears or frustrated tears or rage tears. There are a lot of ways to cry. I am good at all of them. So good at crying.

There were very special, heretofore unknown welcome back to real life, Jodi Chromey tears.

This weekend sucked, Darling Ones. I fell into a grief pit and failed at climbing out of it. The grief was accompanied by guilt, and boy, are those two assholes.

I feel guilty for being incredibly self-centered the past few weeks. I feel guilty for being a giant bummer dropping sadness bombs in the middle of people’s days and then requiring some sort of recognition about my feelings. I feel guilty for being so fucking needy and taking advantage of people’s kindness.

It’s all so gross. As one twitter pal put it, feeling bad about feeling bad is a particular kind of hell.

So why the tears?

Maybe it was hearing the Waxahatchee record I listened to every damn day during the early months of COVID. You’d think the music would be alarming by reminding me of shittier? a different kind of shitty? times.

It did not do that. Instead it was a sonic hug and reminder that I can handle things. The sounds of this are a telegraph to some part of me that I have lived through shitty, unprecedented times before and I managed to survive.

Hearing this record hot on the tail of those five uninterrupted hours of work where I was sharp and focused and didn’t even need to take time to stare out the window, well it felt like a rejuvenation.

Oh, I thought to myself, while I cried, this is what I feel like.

I’m not saying this gonna stick around forever, because I know grief doesn’t work like that. However, for the first time since my dad died I remember what it is to feel like myself again.


* When you are a freelancer five hours of work means five hours hunched over your keyboard doing the stuff people pay you to do (in this case redesigning a nonprofit’s website). It’s not like office work where work means being in the building or area or around your computer for five hours doing whatever it is you feel like doing which may or may not be work. I worked in corporate America for a long time. I frequently went to work for eight hours a day and did zero work, because there was nothing to do or I didn’t feel like it or I had to be in meetings all day which seems like work but is not. Working in America is broken but that’s a letter for another day.

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