The gift of tears

Industry Observer

Well, when it comes to ActiveRain I have been kind of quiet all week long. While I've popped into the rain here and there... and made some comments, I have not posted. I didn't post for a couple of reasons. First, after reading many of the last few posts by Jeff Turner I have been moved deeply and profoundly and I am doing much reflecting, both personally and professionally. Next, since this was to be my 100th post, I wanted it to share something of value, something thought provoking.  

Many of you who have read my posts have enjoyed my "unique" sense of humor. I've used humor to attract your attention and share my thoughts... especially when it comes to home staging.

But every now and then, if you have followed along my posts or read any my comments you will noticed that I have let out a "secret"... I am a crier.

Crying is a part of me. I see it as Yin to the Yang of laughing. It is a gift God gave me. It was as if He was going to allow me to make a person laugh... He wanted me to also know and relate to what makes people cry.

I cry when I see people overcome insurmountable obstacles, I cry over blatant injustices, I cry when I see people achieve their dreams, I cry when people fail after giving all they could, I cry at overwhelming kindness, I cry for expressions of profound love and gratitude, and I cry when I see the deep pain and sorrow that holds and surrounds people.

It is no secret showing emotion (crying) is often viewed as a sign of weakness in our society.  So people, mainly men, choose not to show emotion. In the pursuit of perfection, the "better" way is to hold it in and stuff it down. That way, the world only sees what we allow... a perfect person, flawless and unflappable.  But I am not sure that is the answer. The Center for Disease Control reports that suicide is the eighth leading cause of death for all U.S. men and that males are four times more likely to die from suicide than females.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if as a child, my brothers and I had seen our own father cry. Would he have been less of a man? Less of a father? I think not. But I can't help but wonder... what would happen if society gave way to a fuller expression of emotions?

I ask this now, as an adult and after finally seeing my father cry. But I did not just see my father cry... I saw him weep. Weep for the loss of his first born son.  A son that chose to take his own life. A son who to the world had it all... the perfect life. But "perfect" was a hard facade for my big brother to constantly maintain... a man that did not cry.

So today, on the 2nd anniversary of my brother's death, I promise you, within a quiet moment of a memory of my big brother... I will cry.



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Carole Cohen
Howard Hanna Cleveland City Office - Cleveland, OH
Realtor, ePRO
FC: Congratulations - you touched the hearts of all of us, proof that blogging can bring the best out in people. Your family must be very proud of you, your success in staging, blogging and in being human.
Jan 03, 2007 08:31 PM #54
Marisa Ladd
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Austin, TX Real Estate
I'm with you, Craig.  A good Hallmark commercial gets me every time!  Congrats on Most Memorable Post.
Jan 04, 2007 08:52 AM #55
Gena Riede
Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792 - Sacramento, CA
Real Estate Broker - Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699

Craig, I haven't read any of the comments above. I'm sure they are all very supportive, though since we have such a wonderful, caring community here in AR. I had not read your article and now that I have, I can certainly understand why I like you so much. You have a deep heart and a kind heart.

You are absolutely correct, that many of us go on and don't share some of the pain that we have. I think that it is a lot better for you to be able to be honest and let the tears flow when you need to. I've never thought it had anything to do with not being "manly" but I do think it has something to do with being "human." I am truly sorry for your loss and only hope that the pain lessens for you as the years go on. It will always be there but maybe just a little less as the years go on.

Jan 04, 2007 02:33 PM #56
Stan Mackey
Coldwell Banker Bain - Seattle, WA


I have never seen or heard of you before. MY loss. I am one of the original AR' and regretfully have been gone for many months. I don't know how I found this post. Since I did, I will now have another blog I have to go to daily.

Do I cry? Unfortunately like many that have posted as well as maybe your brother, I was raised in a family where we were taught that we (as males) had to be strong (crying wasn't a sign of strength, never spoken, just taught). When I was a lad of 11 and my older brother of 12 died, I don't think I shed a tear (at least in front of anyone). Very sad. Still today, at almost 50, I have a hard time sharing true feelings. You are to be commended!! Will not go into more now, but thank you for sharing...and thank you (God or whoever directed me here after 6 months absence). Craig, you're a good man

Jan 04, 2007 03:13 PM #57
Scott Gormley
Oak Valley Mortgage-California Home Loans and Refinancing - Chico, CA

Great post Craig!

I agree that men should be able to show their emotions. Throughout the struggles my family has been through, I to have now found the strentgh that can be found in crying. Holding deep thoughts inside you and continuing the battle of passive agressiveness in our society has led to many unneeded deaths and tragic endings. To this, I salute you for your openness and courage :)

Happy New Year!


Jan 04, 2007 04:38 PM #58
ARDELL DellaLoggia
Better Properties Seattle - Kirkland, WA
I see why so many liked this.  I will say however that when you see someone cry who almost never cries, it is heartwrenching.  I remember my grandmother, who was a very tough old bird, crying at my Dad's funeral.  I will never, ever, forget it.
Jan 04, 2007 04:38 PM #59
Sheron Cardin
California Moods Inc - Selma, CA
ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend!

Craig, I can see why your post won best of the year! It humanizes us all and opens doors in the workplace for each of us to be real. Your brothers life of holding back the tears is now rain in the rain forest. A worthy life if only he knew. 

Love and prayers


Jan 05, 2007 02:01 AM #60
Heather Harrell
Harrell Home Staging, LLC - Gainesville, VA


Craig - You are nothing short of amazing.  I've typed about 20 sentences so far, and deleted them all.  Amazing is the only thing that makes sense.


Jan 06, 2007 07:50 AM #61
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

Thank you for sharing this transparent post.  I'm not sure how I navigated to your site.  I'm new to Active Rain and find myself being joyously "overwhelmed" by the quality of thought, insight and knowledge that is shared.  This IS the hope and strength that transcends the limited boundaries of a professional career; extraordinary individuals, like yourself and others in this network, using forums like this and in our everyday interactions to grow and heal the soreness that exists in all of us. 



Jan 07, 2007 06:08 AM #62
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

To all in the rain...

Thank you for the amazing words and personal emails that I have received since posting this. Many of you shared so many personal stories about suicide that... well, moved me to MORE tears.

I hope this post knocks away a bit of the power of suicide... by bringing it out into the light.

I believe that when it is hidden it has power. And people then rely on it... and with one final act self deprecating act then go out in blazing shame.

By talking about suicide I hope it stops some of the power the shame gives to people temporarily lost in life.

Peace to you all,


Jan 08, 2007 10:41 AM #63
inactive AR account
Dayton, OH

Sometimes you just stumble onto an incredible post that you may have missed when it was first posted...

I understand the hole that is in your heart. I lost my youngest brother 17 years ago, I still miss him so much, and while you somehow learn to live with the pain, it will continue to sneek up on you. Just a few months ago I sat in a restuarant crying as I told his story to a friend. This good friend made me feel as if it was the most natural thing in the world to sit crying over dinner, and shared a few tears with me.

To this day we are not sure of the circumstances surrounding his death. His death was not confirmed until 15 months after he disappeared. He was my brother, but he was also a dear friend.  I know he lives on in our hearts, we can take great joy in that. Our daughter is tall and lanky, so was he. I take great comfort in knowing that reminders of him will continue on in small ways. 

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Your pain is shared by many people now. I hope that in some small way we can lighten your load.


Jan 14, 2007 07:09 AM #64
account deactivated
not listed - Concord, MA

Hi Craig.

I have been out of the loop for awhile on Active Rain, and am catching back up.  Of course, one of the first things I do is read your blog. 

I was moved to my own tears as I read this particular entry.  It helps me understand a little bit better the source of your generous compassion and reaching out to others, including to me about my own sibling as she faces a battle against death each and every day. 

I often wonder if you ever sleep, with all the intelligent, witty and often moving and profound content you share with all of us, while you obviously run a successful business.  I can only assume that your motivation to do well and to do right runs very deep in your soul.  The world is a better place to have you in it. 

I am thankful to have made your acquaintance in this community, and look forward to learning much more from you.



Jan 14, 2007 10:27 PM #65
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

I have finally had the opportunity to read this post, your 100th Craig.  It did something most posts, most stories, most movies, & most people just don't do for me....because it stirred my soul.  I will become an avid reader of yours here on forth Craig, not just for your words, but because of your very soul as well.

BTW - I am a crier as well.

May 20, 2007 01:06 PM #66
Wayne and Lynda Gomillion
Real Living Hagan Realtors | Pinehurst ~ Southern Pines, NC - Pinehurst, NC

Great post... Thank you.

May 30, 2007 12:21 PM #67
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging,
Craig - I never saw this first post and thank you for sharing. Crying is the cleansing of the soul in many ways. Fortunate is the man who does not fear the release. God bless you and yours. You have shown this stranger another side of you and I am touched.
Jul 06, 2007 04:19 AM #68
Sue Argue
Staged First Impressions - Hampton, NH
NH Home Stager

Craig, you were right, this post is powerful. 8th leading cause of death? You'd never know it, because we don't talk about it much. It still stings. But this experience with quick and horrible loss made me who I am today, and I like her. Your family's tragedy has made you who you are, and I like him too :)

Air hug,


Jul 06, 2007 06:52 AM #69
Jackie Peraza
Perceptions AdverStaging(TM), LLC - Framingham, MA
Home Stager - Framingham, Massachusetts

Craig- Thank you for reposting this to Coffee Clutch and sharing this - your heart, with those of us that weren't here when you originally put it out there.  You are a brave soul, Craig.  I would have to agree with TLW on this one and call it inspired.  Peace to you and your family.

My youngest brother and I recognize the 31 anniversary of the death of our mom tomorrow - I don't think I'll be blogging about it. 


Nov 07, 2007 01:15 PM #70
Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota
Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm - Inver Grove Heights, MN

Thanks for sharing about your brother Craig. I'm so incredibly sorry to hear of his passing and will say an extra prayer for you today that you find peace and joy...and always remember him in good times.


Nov 15, 2007 12:56 PM #71
Tracy Santrock
Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. - Cary, NC
Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge

So sad to hear about your brother.  I'm also saddened by Tigers injury.  He gives the public everything they ask for - but sometimes it can backfire.

Jun 18, 2008 03:49 PM #72
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


Too close to my inner self to read this again. I would cry my little eyes out. I just want to wake up and find out it's been just a bad dream. I've tried covering it with humor but just under the surface the tears sit waiting for the opportunity to take me out. I ain't gonna let them :)

Mar 25, 2009 03:23 AM #73
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