Within these past couples of years, I have encountered an enormous amount of death within my circle. So much so, that it has molded me into the person that I am becoming. I have had so many past students within my profession, that it has made me be a little more concern for my current students. Their death has created a mental block of sadness and pain because as an adult you are told to “be strong” or “hold on”. The same goes when you have to be there for your friends and family after they have lost someone so close to them. You have to keep it all together and hope that you can be that “support” they need as well. And let us not forget about death that occurs with someone who is so close to your heart that it is unbearable to perceive. It is again expected for you to be strong. Knowing that you will only have them in spirit/memory is comforting, but not being able to physically see them any longer in physical form is a pretty hard pill to swallow.
But why do we have to “be strong” or “hold on”? Why do we have to hold in the pain and sorrow that we feel when someone we loved leaves us in spirit? I realized that I have held in so much sorrow and pain from people’s death that it became mentally draining. I wish I could drop down to my knees and cry out as loud as I can. I want to let go of the sadness in my heart and make room for permanent happiness. If only I had the opportunity to just be free to mourn in the manner I want to without the belief of holding on and being strong just so others surrounding me won’t break down either. Do you understand how hard it is to actually refrain from showing emotions? Do you understand how this can impact someone who has had to be the strong one for everyone else? Let me just tell you it is not easy at all. A matter of fact, it’s not healthy.
It is okay to show your emotions and break down when necessary. My mother told me today that I have really changed since I was younger because I didn’t show but one emotion and that was anger (if you say so). She also shared with me that she realized that I have gotten a little more sensitive with age. And she is correct. I have been programmed to cry temporarily but straighten up and get it together before “showtime”. I don’t want to be that way any longer. I need to be able to release my emotions when necessary so I can continue to be mentally healthy and spiritually aware. If I need to cry for longer than 5 minutes; so be it. In order for me to maintain my sanity at this age and time; I must be allowed to feel empathy and sympathy when I want to. It is not up to society to dictate my feelings and emotions. So for now on do not tell me to “hold on” or “be strong” because I do not want to continue holding on and being strong just to put on a facade that everything is alright. Let my sorrow drain from inside of me so I can be rejuvenated and renewed with happiness and relief. My mental and spiritual growth depend on it.
This is dedicated to all of my family and friends that have endured a loss. I want you to know that it is okay to have those moments when you cannot “be strong”. Free your spirit and mind and allow yourself to grieve. This also goes for men who were told it isn’t “manly” to cry or show emotions. That is far from the truth. Yes, death is upon us; but we can at least live mentally and spiritually free from harbored emotions.
I love this post. Good for you for letting yourself be human!
This reminds me of a post by April Mason who said being called a strong Black woman is not a compliment. It’s on youtube if you want to check it out.
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I will definitely check it out!!!
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This has touched me in a way a mother cannot describe. Growing up in the sixties many of us were protected from death (funerals) when a relative died. I can remember when my aunt who was a professor at Howard University died; I was in college. My parents didn’t tell me till I had completed that year. I was so upset because she was the one who pushed me into so many academic functions because of my intelligence. Not until it hit close to home did I really feel that I had to be strong for my brother and sister. I wasn’t allowed to grieve the death of my parents until way after the funeral. I still have periods when I’m alone and thinking about my mom and dad. I cry and talk to them regularly asking for guidance. No one’s grief is express the same as another persons. You have to find that inner strength to remember that your love ones are always with you. I strongly believe in spiritual healing and the power of prayers. This is what has kept me going .
Thank you for letting me recognize that as parents we tend to model behaviors that have been mode in us from generations.
Cry when you feel you want to express the way you feel for the loss of your friend, parents, spouse, family, etc.
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Aaaawwww!!! And you know I am. Love you!!!