Grief – for crying out loud

Everyone has feelings. As an adult, I thought I had felt them all – joy, love, happiness, sadness, sorrow, etc. It wasn’t until I experienced the death of someone close to me that I began to understand the true meaning of all types of feelings.

I wanted to hide my emptiness and sadness from everyone; I figured if I could appear to be OK on the outside then everything would be OK on the inside. One day I realized I was numb to all my feelings, and I needed to start to acknowledge and accept all my emotions no matter how good or bad they were.

Have you ever truly had a good cry?

Have you ever laughed so hard that you cried? Remember how good you felt after you were done? So why do we use the saying “Don’t Cry” when someone is feeling pain or sorrow? Crying is a natural and healthy expression of pain and sorrow. We say “Don’t Cry” because we hope that the person will stop crying and we won’t feel so uncomfortable being around them. I hear people say “Laughter is the best medicine,” however crying is one of the most beneficial components to the healing process.

Grief emotions, such as pain and anger, are often feared or avoided all together. These emotions make people feel uncomfortable and unpleasant. The fact is these emotions are very powerful and a big part of the grief experience. If you begin to feel emotional pressure building up inside, make a plan to cope with it upfront. Crying is one of the very powerful ways of releasing painful emotions, crying enables you to fully feel and experience your emotions. Sometimes a good cry is all we need to allow ourselves to release these painful emotions. There are many other healthy ways of releasing our emotions. Support groups, therapy, going for a walk or exercise, talking with a friend or journaling. If you take a moment and listen to what your body and soul is telling you, it will tell you what it needs to begin to heal.

Masking or hiding pain, grief, sorrow, anger and frustration is not always the best thing we can do for ourselves. Masking our grief by putting a smile on our face and pretending everything is OK may be fooling others, but we’re not fooling our self or healing our pain. Tears are a good thing and necessary for everyone, regardless of who you are.

So next time you feel like a good cry, tell yourself it’s OK.

About Dawn Rehrauer

Dawn is a Bereavement Counselor, and co-founder of Grief Relief, at Agnesian HealthCare. She has been working in this area for five years. She is passionate about helping those that have lost a significant person in their lives through their grieving process. Dawn can be reached by emailing

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