The Questions of Grief: When Tears Don’t Come

| Grief Author and Speaker

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The Questions of Grief: When Tears Don't ComeI have not written on this page for a spell, we have reposted some of the archived blogs instead. I thought I would have much to say after the death of my wife, but I went dry instead. The numbness that seems to accompany grief left me with very little to say and not much motivation to say it. Several folks have written responses to the blogs lately and I have had quite a few emails from hurting people as well. These have rekindled my creative juices and made me much more willing to get back into the swing of writing. It all goes to prove that our ability to give a “you know what” is deeply impacted by grief and it takes time to care again. It also proves that nothing motivates like hearing the stories from others on the journey. Keep writing folks.

Sometime back someone wrote in response to a blog that they had a hard time shedding tears. They seemed to be convinced that they were not crying as much as they needed to and wondered if there was something wrong with them or with the way they were grieving. Sometimes I wonder if anyone ever feels like they are doing the proper amount of crying. Some write that they can’t quit crying and are worried that they never will do so. They are convinced there is something wrong and probably dangerous. Others write that they rarely, if ever, cry and wonder if they loved the person as much as they should have or thought they did.

Grief is not judged by the amount of tears shed

nor

By how long the tears last.

Grief is as unique as a finger print

and

We will cry the exact amount of tears

that fit our emotional make-up.

I do not cry very much. My tears seem to stop on the back side of my eyes. I often feel like I am going to have a good cry, I feel it crawling up my throat and headed for my eyes, and I do cry but it is so brief. I even try to keep it going but it just hits and goes away. I would like to have a good long cry, I think I need to have a good long cry, but it just doesn’t happen.

Does that mean I am weird? Does that mean I did not love my wife? Does it mean I am not grieving? Not at all. It means this is how I handle emotional things. It may well be that doing years of personal  counseling has trained me to stifle tears and trained me so well that I can’t stop stifling. It may be that performing thousands of funerals in my lifetime has steeled me from showing emotions. It also maybe that this is just how I am put together and that is just fine.

The lack of tears has nothing to do with how much I loved her, nor does it mean I do not miss her. The lack of tears does not mean I do not hurt, nor does it mean I am not lonely without her. It just means that when I hurt I don’t have the wonderful outlet of a good long cry with great sound effects.

Nor do I think this will lengthen or shorten my grief journey. The bottom line to grief is learning how to live without them being here. I have been learning for seventeen months now and it really hasn’t gotten that much easier. I am on the journey. I am sharing my feelings with safe people and working my way through what I believe to be a normal grief experience. I just do mine without very many tears while others do theirs with buckets of them. Both of us are doing it right. If you can cry, by all means let them flow. Tears are memories in motion. If you can’t cry, then do it your way.

 

Copyright Doug Manning of In-Sight Books, Inc. Doug’s books, CDs and DVDs are available at www.insightbooks.com. Post originally published on Doug’s Blog at The Care Community www.thecarecommunity.com.

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| Grief Author and Speaker

My work in grief began when a couple from the church where I was the pastor lost a young daughter from a simple case of the croup. The mother was distraught and crying in the hospital room. The doctor and her husband were trying to calm her when she looked up and said, “Don’t take my grief away ...