I wrote the following entry and posted it to Bloopdiary (when I was still there) on 19 August 2005, when I was still processing through my breakup with Mike, who I had been with for four years. I recently mentioned this entry to someone else and realized I no longer had a copy online. So now it’s online again. Enjoy!
As I’m getting settled into my new apartment and finding ways to establish myself in Rochester, I find myself realizing just how little I think of Mike. In some ways, I find myself in that strange state where it just doesn’t matter anymore. I’ve cried my tears, and while I feel the slight ache of being alone once again (and not getting any younger), I have a strange peace about having lost him.
It was a rough journey getting here. I found myself emotionally distraught about the whole thing. I cried so many tears. To be honest, I never realized I could cry so much over the end of a relationship when I was the person to end it. But there you have it. And I think I learned a lot about it. I came to understand one of Freyja’s myths a bit better.
When Freyja lost Od, she cried tears of gold. Indeed, according to Snorri, this is why “Freyja’s tears” became a kenning for gold. I always found the fact that her tears were gold a mild curiosity. Now I see it as an incredibly profound mystery. And I have a much greater appreciation for the value of grief. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say that true grief is a sacred act in its own right. Hence the tears of gold.
I wanted to quit being sad over the breakup. I kept wanting to “move on already.” I didn’t want to shed any more tears. I was “wasting time.” But no, the tears, the sadness, the grief kept coming. And my sweet Lady kept telling me, “No, you need this. Cry your tears. They’re my golden tears.” So I did the only thing I could do, I cried, and I explored my grief.
Then I realized why I cried so much. I was experience true grief, the kind that only comes when one loves so freely and without reservation, only to lose that love. In effect, I wept bitterly because I loved fully. And there is a certain beauty in that.
You see, I think that’s the mistake we too often make. We’re too afraid of that kind of grief, so we avoid being so vulnerable. We only love grudgingly, often holding back and never truly letting go. We do that because we think that sense of grief is bad and to be avoided.
After the past couple months, I’ve come to a different way of thinking. As painful as such sorrow and grief may be, it is in its own way a celebration. My tears were bitter, but they were born of my precious love. I came to understand that as I cherished my love, I could cherish my grief which came as a result of it. In that view, they became bittersweet, and I could see how they really were tears of gold.
I’m not sure many people would understand that. But that’s okay. I guess it’s one of those things you have to experience and come to understand yourself. Me explaining it just won’t do. But for those who do understand, I can just imagine their reaction to reading this.