The Ones who Don’t Cry

Strong. Reliable. Present.
The ones you lean on.
They struggle in quiet.
Their tears run unseen.
Anguish saved for private.

Listening. Watching. There.
Hearing your hurt.
Holding your hand.
Their own pain silent.
They are just there.

Invisible. Isolated. In pain.
Their burdens they bear alone.
Keeping their pain apart.
Quitely reaching into
empty space alone.

Okay. Busy. Fine.
Each one a careful lie.
The truth: (not) okay
Busy but struggling.
Fine = won’t bother you.

Exhausted. Drained. Done.
Too tired to explain.
Worn out from masking.
Creaks showing through
Pain leaks out unexpected.

You flinch. You deflect. Diminish.
You don’t know what to do.
You don’t know what to say.
You disappear, silent.
Loneliness a chill shadow behind.

But…but…what can I do you plead?
Asking for the easy task
The hard work is to be done.
Be present. Be there. Listen.
You don’t have to do, just be.

It’s incredibly hard to be present and not do anything but be there. And yet that’s a critical task. And it’s a task so many cannot or will not embrace. It is one that can heal hearts, bring comfort and will be treasured. You don’t know what to say? Then feel okay being still and present. You don’t know what to do? Just be there. Being in pain, feeling hurt, scared, alone or sad isn’t wrong. Or bad.
It’s nothing to be fixed. It’s something to work and walk through. The strongest people cry alone, work through their grief doing their best not to be a burden. Don’t leave them do so this alone.