It was an unusually warm day for spring, and as we made our way over the hill behind the Hearse, a procession of sober solemnity, our attention was firmly fixed on the figure walking closest to the vehicle. Sorrow was evident in her tears and body language; she cried that deep cry that only comes from a place that knew pain. A place of peace that was suddenly interrupted by sadness, the grief was raw with the shock of unexpected tragedy. She mourned unashamedly.
I remembered being happy that she felt free enough to express her grief so openly, in a society where showing emotions can be frowned upon. After the ceremony one quest was heard saying not too quietly, be strong for your children. The widow wasted no time in telling her and everyone within range that she was being strong, she was mourning the loss of her husband being strong meant showing her children that she loved and will miss their dad. In other words she was comfortable with being vulnerable.
I had always admire her strength and the way she approached life but that day she showed strength through one of the most difficult things we will face, the death of a love one. Her children learnt an important lesson that day. It is ok to cry.
Everyone deals with grief in a different way, some feel free enough to cry, while others repress and use things, work, friends, and the children to cover the pain of their loss.
They are individuals who are frightened of the intensity of the emotions and try to neatly package it in one of the compartments of their lives, hoping it will go away and they will never have to face it again. Afraid that if accessed it will consume them.
However tears are refreshing and cleansing, it helps to move emotions that been blocked and can free the individual. It develops strength and courage.
I believe that it takes a strong person to take the risk to allow feelings to come to the surface, as opposed to taking the easy way out and shut down.
There are many self protecting and numbing behaviours that are practiced in order to stop feeling. Some are using substances to control or medicate trauma which if allowed to surface could overwhelm. They choose to exist rather than taking the chance at addressing the pain and live. Alcohol is almost an epidemic many countries and government spends huge sums every year looking after people who have alcohol related illness or funding services to work with people with this addiction.
Another issue is the global growing debt crisis, where many are spending more than they earn some in an effort to numb, shut down or silence a voice they cannot allow through. Likewise work and even religious activities are all things that are sometimes use to numb, to repress and shut out the noise of that situation that needs to be dealt with.
Jesus speaking with His disciples and John’s disciples said after the death of John, said to the ones perhaps confused by their loss, ‘come apart and rest awhile’. This tells me that He understands human suffering and cares about our grief. Isaiah 53:4 surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering.
So what language do you cry in?
Can you identify with anything above? Do you need to find your own desert place and rest? How do you deal with grief? Whether the loss of someone physically, the loss of an ideal, expectations that have not been met, pain or trauma that you have experienced. What is your default? Dealing with it or burying it?
The way you cry will depend on what you learnt in your family or in early life. The message taught then will be what is taken with us throughout life. How were issues dealt with? Were they talked about, covered, whilst everyone pretended nothing happened? Were you able to discuss openly issues and concerns? Were you able to voice your concerns and have them listened to.
Unless you allow yourself the uncomfortableness of change in order to heal you will repeat the same patterns. The person who cannot cry has had to cut off that part of them that feels; as a result they become hardened, callous and lacking in empathy and struggles with connection. In order to connect with others we have to be able to love and value ourselves. We cannot give to someone what we cannot offer ourselves. To cut off that part of you means you will also lack sympathy for yourself. Additionally, you cannot successfully disconnect from negative feelings without also severing connections with positive feelings. The result; joy and laughter and peace will also elude you and you are left feeling miserable.
Nevertheless, patterns habits can be unlearned and new ones formed. You can develop hHealthier habits that will enable you to learn a different more healthy language to cry in, one that will free you and enable you to move on in freedom and peace.
Just be authentic with yourself and feel with your whole heart
I leave you with this song