I sat next to my son (my daughter having found her friends wanted nothing to do with us), willing myself not to weep, knowing his eyes were upon me. I had not braced myself, had not expected to feel so flooded with emotion as I watched a boy sing and chant in a sweet, angelic prepubescent voice, watched a mother and a father honor their son with words of pride. I was unable to keep my eyes from their beaming faces. I was unprepared for the lightness in the room, the singing, the dancing the ease, the joy.
There were others tearing up as well. But I was doing more than tearing up. I had to rifle around my purse for tissues. I had to swallow some deep seated emotions, emotions I couldn’t quite name, other than to feel a sense that something was missing. A hole. A gap. Thoughts of what our children’s lives might have been like with two parents instead of one. Of how much a father’s pride might have contributed to their sense of themselves.
Maybe I would have teared up with my husband standing there beside me, thinking of the pride he would have for his own children. Maybe I teared up for the same reasons as everyone else â€“ witnessing true love for a child. Maybe these weren’t grief emotions, but simply human ones.
This isn’t the first such event where these emotions come bubbling forth, nor will it be the last. Funny that they should catch me off guard every time.