The way I see it, people handle grief in a multitude of ways and everybody is different.
I recently attended a funeral service of a family member and it was amazing at the show of grief in various forms.
I saw relatives who just sat there and stared into space.
I saw persons who kicked and screamed and had to be lifted out of the church. One son of the deceased practically fainted.
One grandson, had a permanent smile fixed on his face.
One expert had this to say:
‘Grieving, or the outward physical, emotional and psychological expression of loss, can cause us immense emotional and physical suffering when someone or something we love is taken away from us.
“Grief can deplete you to such an extent that the slightest tasks become monumental, and what previously was easily achievable now may seem insurmountable,” wrote Therese Rando, Ph.D. Although sadness is often one of the intense emotional reactions that take over in our immediate response to losing someone we love, it is certainly not the only way that grief can manifest itself. Although everyone reacts to loss in different ways, we rarely are prepared to deal with the pain and emotional turmoil that result after we lose someone or something that is intrinsically valuable to us.’
As I watched the many persons react to the loss of an obviously well-loved man, I remembered my three occasions to grieve so far.
The loss of my grandmother. I was only 11 years old and I went to that funeral service, having been taught that ‘men don’t cry’ and so I purposed in my heart that I WAS NOT GOING TO CRY!
I did very well up to the time the coffin was disappearing down the hole and then somebody started to wail and I could not hold it back and I felt ashamed….
Well I newa!
I have since learnt that REAL MEN DO CRY and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man or anybody for that matter, crying.
Let’s hear what another expert has to say about the benefits of crying:
‘1. Has a soothing effect
Self-soothing is when people:
• regulate their own emotions
• calm themselves
• reduce their own distress
A 2014 study found that crying may have a direct, self-soothing effect on people. The study explained how crying activates the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which helps people relax.
2. Gets support from others
As well as helping people self-soothe, crying can help people get support from others around them.
As this 2016 study explains, crying is primarily an attachment behavior, as it rallies support from the people around us. This is known as an interpersonal or social benefit.
3. Helps to relieve pain
Research has found that in addition to being self-soothing, shedding emotional tears releases oxytocin and endorphins.
These chemicals make people feel good and may also ease both physical and emotional pain. In this way, crying can help reduce pain and promote a sense of well-being.
4. Enhances mood
Crying may help lift people’s spirits and make them feel better. As well as relieving pain, oxytocin and endorphins can help improve mood. This is why they are often known as “feel good” chemicals.
5. Releases toxins and relieves stress
When humans cry in response to stress, their tears contain a number of stress hormones and other chemicals.
Researchers believe that crying could reduce the levels of these chemicals in the body, which could, in turn, reduce stress. More research is needed into this area, however, to confirm this.
6. Aids sleep
A small study in 2015 found that crying can help babies sleep better. Whether crying has the same sleep-enhancing effect on adults is yet to be researched.
However, it follows that the calming, mood-enhancing, and pain-relieving effects of crying above may help a person fall asleep more easily.
7. Fights bacteria
Crying helps to kill bacteria and keep the eyes clean as tears contain a fluid called lysozyme.
A 2011 study found that lysozyme had such powerful antimicrobial properties that it could even help to reduce risks presented by bioterror agents, such as anthrax.
8. Improves vision
Basal tears, which are released every time a person blinks, help to keep the eyes moist and prevent mucous membranes from drying out.
As the National Eye Institute explains, the lubricating effect of basal tears helps people to see more clearly. When the membranes dry out, vision can become blurry.”
Then I lost my mom and my dad and I cried openly.
However, the bible admonishes us not to weep as those without hope, because if they were faithful up to the point when they die and we are faithful up to the point when we die, we will all be happily reunited one day, when Jesus makes his grand return.
‘Romans 12:15 KJV
15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Matthew 5:4 KJV
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.’
A former boss of mine once told me that ‘it is the baby that cries, gets the milk.’
May God help us as we mourn, when we lose loved ones and as I awoke this morning I learnt of two more Nevisian families in mourning. My heart goes out to them.
God can help us through these dark periods however, if we only trust him.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?