It doesn’t always seem appropriate does it? Is it a sign of weakness? Is it something you must do in private? Is it something you only do when you’re alone, in the shower or in your car?
For me, crying is an outlet and a great one. I had always read that it was so good for the soul and I firmly believe that. It is a tremendous release and I like to think about it as an important ingredient in healing.
In the beginning, when my son died, I cried all of the time. Of course I couldn’t speak to anyone I knew without just losing it and unleashing a tidal wave. I knew it was not going to change things, I just miss(ed) him so much. I was in agony at the thought of not hearing his voice again or even hearing the phone ring with him on the other end – not seeing him come through my door. I could not imagine life that way. After about a year something changed. It seemed like I suddenly shut that door. It was almost like I told myself, “NO MORE, stop it; if you will quit acknowledging this happened you won’t have to feel it.” I stayed in that state of denial for years after. I kept it bottled up in my heart and in my mind, brushing it away quickly whenever it surfaced. No pictures on my wall, no reminders. In retrospect I can see that these actions were not good for me.
When traumatic events are pushed back or simply put away we are only saving them for another day and eventually they WILL surface. Sometimes when they do it’s not in a good way. I believe that God designed us to “feel”. I mean, no one gets out of this life unscathed…..not one of us. We all have heartache….of some sort. We all have joy…of some sort. We all have happiness….of some sort. It is different for everyone. It is my belief that when we keep the tears bottled up that they will expel at some point in other areas of our lives. It could be in the form of unkind behavior to others or in your marriage or perhaps it will rise up in your work place or in your friendships. Is that really fair to others or to ourselves?
From the view of this mama whose been there, taking the time to walk through your grief and giving it the time it deserves is the healthy way to a healing journey. It is like honoring your child or loved one, healing through tears. Every time I have ever allowed myself “feel” and “express” through crying, I feel just a little bit better. It’s almost like I’ve stuck a bandaid on the wound until the next time and what’s wrong with that? Over time, that bandaid gets smaller and smaller and then the day comes when you see that it’s not needed. Not to say you won’t feel grief any longer but you can talk, laugh, love again with a little less tears. You get to a place where you can “remember the good times” and do so with a heart so grateful for each and every one of them.
When is a good time to cry? Whenever you dang well feel like it.