Lemon sucking cow face

You know when you walk by someone or perhaps you work with someone who looks miserable? I don’t know about you but I sometimes think, “What a miserable human.” Or as my dad used to say, “Looks like that person has been sucking on a lemon.” 

No? Just me then? 

I would mutter something to the effect of, “It can’t be all that bad that you can’t even crack a smile or be pleasant.” Yep, I was that gal. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a complete asshole. I do believe I was born with great empathy. I got this from my mom. Although no one is like my mom.

However, as I matured with life experiences and tough times of my own, I would do my best not to project and give that person the benefit of the doubt. 

I went from “What a miserable cow” to “I wonder what has happened to them?”  I do not always start off with that. Sometimes it has been somewhere in between those two. I would also suggest that some people are just miserable cows and do suck on lemons. We all know a few lemon suckers.

I remember driving in my car and I would see someone crying (usually a female) and think, “I wonder what man broke her heart?”  How presumptuous.

Everything changed in 2018 when my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer and passed away. I had lost loved ones but nothing like this. The car was my ‘safe haven.’ It was the place where I could release my grief alone, away from my mom and family. Then after he passed away I was back in the UK working. I would keep it together all day. I would jump in my car after a busy day at work. The mask would slip. The tears would pour. This lasted for a good year or more. Then 14 months after my dad passed my mom died suddenly in her sleep. Two months after this my son in law tragically died. 

Lemon sucking suck bag! 

Don’t get me wrong, I tried so hard to crack a smile and be pleasant. I would say that many times I succeeded and other times, not so much.

I dug deep (and still do) to work through my pain so I do not leave a path of destruction in my wake. I tried so hard to not be THAT person. You know, the lemon sucking miserable cow. But the grief was too much at times. The pain is too deep. But I did manage that smile. I did. But I was also that miserable lemon sucking cow face too.  

I share this only to give some perspective and as a reminder that sometimes, just sometimes, these ‘miserable people’ are actually miserable for a reason. Sometimes a smile, an act of kindness or just a nod of acknowledgement can go a very long way in helping heal someone, even for that moment.

Now when I see someone crying in their car. I think, “The pain they hold is so great and that is their safe place.” I look away quickly so they can be free from judgement.

I have learned that sometimes lemon sucking is all that we humans can do sometimes. I am so grateful for my friends, a grief counsellor, and my warrior resilience to keep smiling most of the time.