Lesson 1: 10-Minute Writing Exercise

It’s Okay to Cry

Growing up, Emily and I loved spending time together. Whether it was riding our bikes to the corner store for bags of candy and 711 slushes or simply sitting on her parent’s front porch, we had a true connection. One day we decided to pop in Bette Midler’s film Beaches. It was our first time watching it and we didn’t know what to expect. I was always the sensitive girl who could cry from even a pen falling on the ground. It was embarrassing for me to my shed tears in front of others, so I’d either hold it in while suffering from a huge painful lump in my throat or I’d fake a bathroom break. I’d eventually burst out into tears. Going back and forth between laughing and hyperventilating. My friends always seemed to get a good chuckle out of this.

As Emily and I sat watching the last 30 minutes or so of the movie, I began feeling that familiar lump form in my throat. Oh my gosh. How embarrassing. How could I cry in front of her? Too late. I could barely see the television screen. I looked over at my dear friend and she was also on the verge of hyperventilation. As soon as Barbara Hershey died and we sensed the sadness from Bette Midler’s character, we completely lost it. Afterwards, we realized there was no reason to feel embarrassed for expressing our emotions.  We sat there hugging and crying on the couch until all of our tears were dried up.

Whenever I hear Wind Beneath My Wings, the theme song from Beaches, I immediately reminisce about that special period spent with Emily.  I’m sure if her and I sat down to watch that movie today, we’d freely shed our tears and embrace our everlasting bond we created years ago.  It’s okay to cry.

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2 Responses to Lesson 1: 10-Minute Writing Exercise

  1. Roger says:

    Beautiful memory! And wonderful advice.

    My first wife died of cancer, and a counsellor told us that we should let ourselves weep whenever we felt like it, OR our emotions would be blocked and we couldn’t feel joy, happiness, etc.

    So your piece has some very powerful advice to everyone out there who tries to hide their tears.

    Thank you!

    • jduvnjak7 says:

      Thank you, Roger! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I’m sorry to hear about your first wife. That must have been very painful to go through. I just met a gentleman last week that lost his wife to cancer two years ago. He said this time of the year is hardest for him. I felt honored that he was able to open up to me about it all.

      Happy New Year!

      Jamie

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