Crying privately, crying together

Love
without clinging;
cry
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to the newness of loving
in practical ways:
cleaning
and cooking
and sorting out clothes,
all say, “I love you,”
when lovingly done.

So—
love
without clinging;
cry—
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to the length of his stride,
the song he is singing,
the trail he must ride,
the tensions that make him
the man that he is,
the world he must face,
the life that is his.

So
love
without clinging;
cry—
if you must—
but privately cry;
the heart will adjust
to being the heart,
not the forefront of life;
a part of himself,
not the object—
his wife.

So—
love!

~ Ruth Bell Graham, from Collected Poems: Footprints of a Pilgrim

I decided, years ago, to avoid crying around my husband too frequently. He works with women, and scared and sometimes dying patients and their families, so you could say his job is a "vale of tears" at times. Thus, I try to do my crying "privately". I love these words on the subject by Ruth Graham. This has been a season of much crying, but, oddly, not much shared crying. Aaron and I celebrated our anniversary tonight and it was the first time we dealt with my cancer together, united both in sorrow and in hope. He said it out loud for the first time, "My wife might have metastatic cancer." He wrote in the card about loneliness, and fear of losing me. How difficult to read...yet how much I needed to read it. To know that it is soaking in. That we are facing this together, in reality together. To know that I am important. To hear that I am loved.

I am reminded of that passage that was the backbone of our wedding, and is traced in Greek around our wedding bands: αὐτοῦ καὶ τὸ σπαρτίον, a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecc. 4:12)