Cry If You Want To
When you think about someone that has passed, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it their smile, their gaze, the way they made you feel about yourself? What was it about that person that left your insides gutted?
Since my mother passed, I have heard a lot about making sure that I stay strong. Stay strong for your husband. Stay strong for your kids. Stay strong for your father. Stay. Strong.
What does that even mean? Truly, what does it mean? I am a person that feels a lot of things and I manage to handle my emotions in a productive way. My mom's death has not allowed me to do that. I cry at the drop of a hat if I even attempt to speak about her. And I ask myself, "Why can't I speak about her without crying a river? And why do I stop myself from crying and then apologize to the people around me?"
I think it's an unfair thing to say to anyone that is grieving. It's sending a message that crying, that feeling a loss, that hurting about someone that has died, is weak.
So stay strong! Keep those emotions to yourself and make sure no one see them.
Make sure your kids don't see that you are devastated so that when it's your time to go, they have already learned that it is a "no-no" to cry because no one is going to hold their hand 6 months from then and say, "It's okay to cry." Stay strong!
We have all in our lifetime lost someone. We know we cannot stay frozen in time and let the grief stunt us. And we move forward because we have no other choice. Death is the one thing that we cannot talk our way out of because...you know the rest.
But we should be allowed to feel. So I am allowing myself to feel.
I started a group for Motherless Women, The Motherless Sisterhood, on FaceBook and I posted recently about this very thing. The group is private and confidential and what is talked about stays there but I will share with you what I specifically wrote about this very thing:
"Let us make a promise to ourselves from today until forever. We will no longer apologize to anyone for the tears we shed for our loved ones. We will no longer think that others will see us as seeking sympathy. We have all suffered a great loss and let us give ourselves the permission to do that however we want. I'm taking a page from my mother's book and saying to myself, "Who cares what you think? I'm going to cry if I need to cry."
Crying doesn't make any of us weak. It makes you strong. It rids you of the stress that is bubbling your insides and it channels your emotions out of your body so you can be free if only for a moment. It can be loud. It can be quiet. But our tears should never be our burden.