When Emotions Surprise Us
by Wendy Keller, mother of 2 dead children and 1 living
A friend’s mother died last week. Their relationship was “troubled” to put it nicely. In an attempt to make her friends and acquaintances feel OK about her very private loss, she keeps assuring us that she’s “OK now” and “Not crying”- as if that is what is expected of people a week after their mothers die.
It is not.
This morning, I was thinking about something great that just happened in my life and smiling. Out of the recesses of my mind, I heard an inner voice say, “Yeah, now let’s resurrect Jeremy.” My son Jeremy has been dead since a car accident in 1991. I immediately triggered into some tears, because of course resurrection is not on my skill list. (How I wish it were!)
After my tears, I thought about the pressure we put on ourselves and on others to “buck up” and “stop crying.” We shove platitudes down our own throats and others’. “Well, at least he’s out of pain now.” Or “Be thankful you had her as long as you did.” Or other such folderol. They don’t help anyone. Why do we do it?
Here’s what’s real: It hurts. You feel sad. Maybe you want to cry or scream or weep or pout.
Nobody else is entitled to tell you whether or not you hurt badly enough to “justify” these emotions.
Your emotions are your body’s way of healing, of dealing with, of processing it.
Let them do their job.
If you’re feeling sad, please help yourself to a copy of my free eBook “The Top Ten Tips to Coping With Crisis”