It’s OK Not to Cry: A Reflection on Grief

person on rock overlooking seaI was 23 years old when my dad passed away. I remember that phone call, where I was standing, what I was wearing, what I did the rest of the night, so many details after hearing that unexpected news. I was very much attached to my dad and considered myself a daddy’s girl. His death really hit me hard. I did not realize what I was doing until years later.

I did not call home much because I did not want to be reminded of his death and feeling sad. I did not want to have conversations with my sisters or my mom that would make me cry, so I avoided it. I avoided being truthful with myself by going out to the bars a lot. I remember getting done with work some days and just crawling into bed and watching TV. Some days I would not shower because it seemed like too much work. I was letting myself slip away and I did not even know it.

I ended up quitting my job and getting behind on bills. My power and water were turned off. I had to sell my dad’s truck to pay back bills. There was a tipping point in my life; I remember thinking, “life is not supposed to be like this.” I contacted a mental health facility in my town and started talking with a counselor. I was extremely hesitant at first, because I did not want to bring up those feelings. And what could a counselor do if they did not know me? I had a friend nudge me and say, “So what, meet with them. If you don’t like them, don’t go again. You don’t ever have to see that person again if you don’t like them”. That nudge changed my life for the better in so many ways.

I found out I was suffering from situational depression and anxiety. I realized I was having anxiety attacks. Just talking to a person whom I did not know helped me have a fresh perspective on my life. The counselor I found was almost like a silent cheerleader for me. She helped me see what I did have going for me that I was blinded by because of the depression.

I now lead an amazing life; I am genuinely happy; I have an amazing partner in life, and we are soon to be married. We have two kids, and love spending time outdoors. After my mother passed away when I was 28 (and six months pregnant), I felt the need to write my story down to hopefully help others. I started to slip a little bit into sorrow and realized what it felt like because of going through it with my dad’s passing. I remember I would search online for stories of someone similar to me to see that they came out of the fog and pain OK.

There were not many people who were so young and had both parents pass away. So I decided to make something available to those looking out there. It’s Ok Not To Cry is a book about my story as well as some of my friends’ stories of dealing with a loss. There is something for everyone in there. It also has some humor mixed in, so you are not always grabbing a Kleenex. I hope to help people through my life story and the story of others. Nobody can tell you how to grieve; I feel that each person does it in their own way.

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  • harry

    harry

    June 16th, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    I am not too sure that others understand that crying is not part of the grief game for everyone? That we all have our different ways of grieving?

  • VanessaT

    VanessaT

    June 16th, 2016 at 4:19 PM

    I will cry but not very often in public. There are times that I know people have looked at me like I am crazy because I am not expressing the kind of emotion in public that they think that I should, but that is not something that comes naturally to me. I prefer to keep up a good face outside and then let my feelings out when I am alone and can have a good ugly cry.

  • Tammy

    Tammy

    June 17th, 2016 at 10:37 AM

    I guess that because I am a crier and I don’t have those same problems showing my emotions that some other people seem to have I will admit that it is strange to me to see someone who I would think should be crying and they are handling things much differently than I probably would.

    I don’t think that it is my job to judge them or to tell them that they are not doing this whole grief thing right, but I do sometimes want to tell them that I think that it could feel good if they could let some of those emotions out that I know that they must be feeling.

    But you know, I’ll live my life and you live your and we can all go on our own life paths.

  • joely

    joely

    June 18th, 2016 at 9:14 AM

    Tell this to my mom.

    She thinks that If you don’t cry a river then you are callous and do not care about anything.

  • Angelica

    Angelica

    June 20th, 2016 at 5:43 AM

    Ok not to cry but ok to laugh. I think that some of the saddest and lowest times of my life I have gotten through them with a smile and a laugh. Not to cover the pain, but to just enjoy all that I knew that I still had.

  • Marissa

    Marissa

    June 22nd, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    It’s a release in a good way for me. How is it that I feel so much better after a good cry and then there are others who do not like it at all???

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