Monday, 13 May 2013


I cry at the drop of a hat these days. Almost everything, every act of kindness, every story of pain, every moment of sadness or joy, can bring not just a tear but tears to my eyes. My emotions are very near the surface. It is as if the ALS was not just tearing away the protective layers of my nerves, exposing the raw nerve beneath, but was also tearing away the protective layers of my emotions, exposing the raw emotions beneath.

This is a part of ALS. My own mortality, my own debilitations, have made me very sensitive to the mortality and debilitations of others. The pain in my own heart, the destruction of my spirit, has made me more aware of the pain in the heart of others. With my own emotions so close to the surface, it is easier for me to identify with the emotions of others, especially joy and happiness.

I have always been an emotional man. I cry at movies; hell, sometimes I cry at TV shows and even the odd commercial. Mostly I cry when people are happy and loving, when people connect and become more. The analysts amongst you can puzzle over the why of this; I just know it’s true for me now more than ever.

What I find most interesting is that it is not the moments of sadness that most affect me. It is the moments of joy, the moments where love reaches out, where the human spirit is exalted, where we triumph over the banal, the ordinary, the futile and reach out to something greater than ourselves.

To steal a quote from a very old movie, “I cry for happy”. I take such great joy in the good things. I find such fulfillment in kindness and love. Perhaps because much of tomorrow has been taken from me, or perhaps it is the growth in my spiritual self compensating for the loss of my physical self. What I know is that I treasure even more that which I can see and feel today, the love and joy of this moment right now. When it is good, I am happy. Then the tears come.

I don’t cry for sad. I wonder why?


  1. I cry too at joyous occasions. And keep a stiff upper lip at sad occasions. It is just a thing we do Richard. Inherent?
    much love

  2. I cry when I get angry , scared and sometimes when I'm happy. I cried for days when my dog died but didn't shed a tear when family members died. It's not that my emotions are defective I just learned to turn off that part of me working in Nursing for 12 years. I worked in long term care and got attached to many of the residents. When my favorites became really ill or pass away I was a blubbering mess. After a couple years I stopped crying. I think building a wall to grief was a defense mechanism.

    The ability to express emotions is what seperates humans from other species. I'm like you in one way. If It's an act of kindness I cry especially if It's unexpected.

  3. Hi Mielkay

    This is an amazingly open comment on your part. You have opened the door to your heart and told us a part of your story. I would like to hear more of it.