‘Never Apologize for Showing Feeling’

Carlos Briceño avatar

by Carlos Briceño |

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It’s not often that I see my wife, Jill, cry. She says crying makes her feel worse.

As a result, she doesn’t stay sad for long and rarely sheds tears. She’s able to compartmentalize her emotions, and is usually levelheaded and pragmatic when talking about them.

When the doctor delivered the devastating news that she had Huntington’s disease, she didn’t break down and cry until we were on our way home.

On the other hand, I react by expressing what I feel in the moment. And whenever I cry, I usually feel better afterward. But I love, understand, and respect how Jill deals with the crushing sadness of knowing that she will one day suffer the same fate as her father, who died from Huntington’s complications. She knows our gene-positive daughter may experience this, too.

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Jill has an amazing ability to mourn and move on, no matter what life throws at her. But like many others, she tends to apologize when she reacts with strong emotions.

One evening, while we were driving home from dinner with friends, she was unusually quiet. When I asked her what was wrong, she started to cry. I thought she was upset about something a friend had said at dinner, but that wasn’t the case.

During a conversation that evening, she noticed she was showing signs of chorea.

I felt like someone had punched me in the heart. She said she realized that one day, she won’t be able to attend parties and enjoy herself like she can now. Eventually, she’ll need round-the-clock care.

While sharing all of this, Jill kept apologizing for crying. I listened, held her hand, and said I loved her. The party will always be where she is, and she doesn’t need to apologize for being sad.

I like to memorize great quotes, so I shared one with her that I memorized years ago.

Former British Prime Minster Benjamin Disraeli once said, “Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.”

Jill is a strong woman. The next time she feels weak, I hope she remembers that being human isn’t something to apologize for — it’s something to celebrate.

Note: Huntington’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Huntington’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Huntington’s disease.


jamie lynn hambsch avatar

jamie lynn hambsch

i love reading your inspirational articles!they lift me up!my husband passed from this disease 5 yrs. ago,at 62.my son ,age 37,was tested gene positive last spring.he is in the early stages.thank you!

Carlos Briceño avatar

Carlos Briceño

You all are in my thoughts and prayers.


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