photo by Nell Mednick

About Survivor Mom

I am the surviving, 75 year-old mother of Peter Weisman who died of Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 1980. I wrote a book called Intensive Care: A Family Love Story about the experience. The book is about how a family struggles and often thrives, even under the constant threat of death. This blog is my cyber-sequel. From a survivor's vantage point, I'm going to blog, in honest detail, about how life was then, and how it is now. Expect to feel better.

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Jan 23, 2013

“To weep is to make less the depth of grief.” As always, Shakespeare said it best.

Scientists have made a study of crying. Women, their surveys show, cry on average five times as much as men. (I suspect, without a scintilla of scientific evidence to back me up, that men deny five times as often as women cry.) Emotional tears (not the kind you shed when you’re slicing onions) are not just salty water. They contain stress and pain reducing hormones which, when released by crying, make you feel better.

But why settle for a mere “good cry.” Given your particular circumstances, I would suggest that you upgrade to a good howl. Why just let off a steam, when, with a little more effort, you can blow the lid off the kettle?

It is important to find a good howling place. If you live in a crowded metropolitan area, this is more easily said than done. Apartment walls are thin. You are likely to be interrupted by the arrival of police, responding to a 911 call from a concerned neighbor. Here’s another alternative. If you don’t have any large parcels of undeveloped real estate near your home, you might try howling in the subway while the train is pulling into the station. Time enough to get off a quickie.

My personal favorite location, available to country and city dwellers alike, is the shower. Singing in the shower is natural. So is screaming. The acoustics are great. Turn the water on as hot and hard as you can stand it. Let the water beat down on your head, bang your fists against the tile walls, and wail away. Figure on staying in for at least ten minutes. To hell with the electricity bill. It’s cheaper than psychotherapy.