Grief does not have to hold us in its grip, we can move through it. What are we to do with the feelings we have when we have to deal with loss? Sometimes we allow society to dictate how we deal with our feelings.
Society tells us
We are expected to be strong and courageous. Growing up, boys and men are often told “don’t cry, shake it off, just get back in there and play.” In “A League of Their Own” Tom Hanks’ famous quote, “There’s no crying in baseball” is a prime example of how to deal with emotions. Little boys are told they have to be “the man of the house” and have to “be strong and take care of your Mom now.” Older males are often told “It’ll be OK.
You have to be strong for your kids. Don’t let them see you cry.” Society expects us to avoid grief because it is a sign of weakness. When we say, “she is not coping very well” we seem to convey someone is failing in the grieving process if she directly expresses her sadness. We do not encourage others to cry, mourn, or openly express their pain.
We have things that need to be done.
“Well now that your husband is gone are you going to clear out the house and move to a smaller place?” “Now that you are alone maybe you should move to be closer to your children?” “How long has it been, aren’t you ready to get on with your life?” When someone passes we have things to do and we tend to do them. Are we then going through the motions and avoiding the emotions?