When faced with an emotional situation, our minds are overwhelmed trying figure out what is ok, or not ok! We think we have to be strong in front of others. I say, “don’t hold back!” It’s ok to laugh, and it’s ok to cry! I think there is a Patty Loveless song in there somewhere. Grief is an odd duck! It comes in waves, and we try to control it. That is a very hard thing to do! The stance we take of showing a brave face is painful!! I write my way through it!!
Survivor’s guilt can jump in on good days. Good things are going to happen in life after the loss of a loved one. We can’t stop the good anymore than we can stop the bad from happening, nor should we want to! It’s bad enough we guilt ourselves for smiling or laughing. It’s a whole other story when we blame others for having good moments, or God forbid , someone tries to make a grieving parent feel bad for having a good moment. I’ve witnessed it. It didn’t happen to me personally. If it had, trust me when I say that person would have gotten an earful, and then some. What people don’t understand of a grieving parent is that we are fighting internal battles constantly, and no one should ever pass judgement, especially on those grieving!
I have encouraged those grieving (by the way, that never stops) to write down a positive thing that happens every day. It’s therapeutic and life -changing! We need to acknowledge the good that continues! It is in those moments when we will start seeing a common thread. I like to think they are signs from our loved one to let us know it will be ok. Call me quirky!!
Flip side, some people want to hold back their tears when they are sad. Why? Tears are not a bad thing and there is no shame in shedding them. Don’t let people guilt you if you cry anymore than they should if you smile or laugh. We all have emotions and it makes me sad to think we criticize a person, man or woman, who has emotions they need to express.
People are complicated, yet not. Some people read. Some of us tend to write. Some people put themselves into those words. I know several have been though similar events I write about. I had someone tell me recently that she cries when she reads what I write. I want you to know I am touched by the fact she told me and it is possible to feel the emotions of my words. I hope the tears are healing and therapeutic for those readers. They are for me.
I have written for my own therapy for many, many years. I actually cry, and sometimes laugh, at what I wrote. The emotions are still there for me too!! Words are what gets me through tough situations. I can go back and reread them when I feel compelled. Don’t misunderstand. I enjoy therapeutic conversations too, but unless they are recorded, I may not retain ALL the wonderful advice and conversations shared. That does not mean I don’t want to talk about situations. Trust me! I am never at a loss for words!! Ask my family. Lol!
Whatever is therapeutic (and legal!) should not be disputed or lessened for those who have things they need to deal with or expressions they wish to convey!! You have all heard the expression “laughter is the best medicine.’ It is very healing, but so is letting go of the tears. Tears are not a sign of weakness. A good cry can calm the emotions just as much as a good laugh!
I encourage those who feel overwhelmed to seek outside help. Some try to be so strong around certain people, maybe an outside person can be your sounding board. This could be the best of both worlds. Bottom line, you are never alone! Talk, cry, write, whatever, it is ok to laugh and it is ok to cry!
I am finding as time goes forward, we all have very different coping mechanisms. I never want to forget those who have gone before me, especially my own son! I will continue to write, talk, speak his name, laugh at some of the stories he left us with, and cry at the void that will forever remain! And guess what, it’s ok! I don’t ask you to agree with me. I ask that we respect those grieving, in whatever coping methods that will allow them to get up each day.
#itsoktolaugh #gonebutnotforgotten #thedashinthemiddle