DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: When my mother died two months ago I didn't cry. I had done a lot pre-mourning when she was horribly sick with cancer, and I was relieved that she was released. Now I just see her younger face in front of me instead of the sick, tired and desperate face at the end. Today, in the middle of the class I was teaching, I started to cry. One of the kids said, "Why are you crying?" And I said, "I'm not crying." And he said, "But you have tears on your cheeks." I put my hand up and there they were. I was crying in front of my whole class and didn't know it! I said, "I'm sorry. I am missing my mother, who died. I am going to the bathroom to wash my face and be right back. Instead I went to the bathroom and sobbed. Then I went to the principal's office and she sent me home for the day. My students and I talked about it the next day. I still don't understand how that happened. Do you know? -- Crying Without Knowing, Winnipeg
Dear Crying: When you're holding back on sadness, the tears can sometimes leak out, like yours did. Because you thought it was all over -- maybe because you couldn't stand any more grief -- you're just now feeling what's left of the pain. Your upset at seeing your mom in such a bad way is now replaced by sorrow on remembering how you miss her -- the happy loving person before she got sick. You're mourning the person she was, not the sick person who needed to die to be released. That's normal. Now it's time to honour your tears or they will make their way out one way or the other and you can get sick and run down. People who can't cry but need to can sometimes get themselves started by watching a sad movie, or by lying down and breathing out heavily, while letting go with an sound like "ahhhhhh" that gets higher in pitch as you go. please let me know if this works for you.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm crazy about my neighbour, two doors down on the opposite side. I find any excuse to go his house. He's single and older, and I'm divorced. He's always so nice to me, but last night when I went to borrow another tool, he looked me in the eye, and said, "Do you know I have a girlfriend that I'm very serious about?" I was mortified. I didn't know that he knew I was coming over to see him, not to borrow something. I said awkwardly, "Oh, I'm not a person who gets crushes," and he just smiled. Then he said, "That's OK. It's happened to me before, so I thought I should just tell you." Now what do I do when I meet him on the street? -- Embarrassing Crush, St. Vital
Dear Crush: If you wanted to avoid someone you didn't like who lived in that house, you would find a way. Try out these changes in coming weeks: If he's out in his yard, stay out of your front yard until he's gone. Try to jump in your car without scoping out his house, and don't go for walks after dark that will allow you to see in his front window. Ignoring him can easily be done, but you have to want to do it. He has told you he's not interested. That isn't going to change, and if you keep checking him out, he will become uneasy and irritated. Leave it the way it is and let it all settle back down.
Questions or comments? Please email email@example.com or send letters c/o Miss Lonelyhearts, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg R2X 3B6