So here's how it worked for me...
I didn't cry one bit over the holiday, despite the fact that my Uncle called and was missing Mom and my Grandma (my two best cheerleaders in life) and wanted to have a little, forty minute conversation about it. The commentary was cut to about two minutes because the kids were in the car and wanted to say "hi". Plus, in that moment, though he was experiencing deep grief, my soul just wasn't there. I could have listened forever, but I just couldn't relate.*
I didn't cry one bit as I was moving pictures on the shelves in anticipation of Christmas decorations and saw my favorite of Dad and his brothers and my Aunt and Mom.
I didn't cry one bit as I was thanking God for the blessings of this life and for Mom over Thanksgiving dinner.
But, I cried Monday morning, post-Thanksgiving, when the song "Close to You" by The Carpenters flew threw my head in response to something goofy Hooman said and I couldn't help but sing the refrain.
But it wasn't the song that caused me to cry. It was the memory of our neighbor, Joyce Conyers, who died of a brain tumor years ago, that got me. Mrs. Conyers LOVED The Carpenters and would play their songs on her piano when I was growing up.
See, I hadn't really understood what my bestest buddy from birth to the early years of elementary school had gone through when she lost her Mom. I hadn't connected the dots that she was also somewhere in this universe, grieving a gone-way-too-soon loss.
Until that moment in my kitchen in my 45th year of life.
*If I could tell anybody who is grieving one of the most important things I've learned, it would be that it's perfectly OK if you don't feel sadness every time someone else does. You aren't the bad guy if you can't cry when others are.
Look at it this way: Not everyone is moved to tears by music or lyrics or melodies, but that doesn't make those who don't cry love the music any less.