This is kind of a scattered post… and way more complicated than I can explain in one blog entry.
I’ve been talking to a few people who have some extreme anxiety about how the their particular loss happened. They have processed that their spouse or child or pet has passed, but thinking about or being reminded of how it happened, makes them lose their shit – for lack of a better phrase. I have been there. Some days I am still there (though very rarely, thankfully).
It’s ok to cry. It’s healthy. But sometimes crying from fear happens, and that can paralyze you.
When I have been crying about the losses in my life, and someone has been consoling me, I sometimes wanted to scream “I’m not crying hysterically because I miss him”.
I know others who want to scream that she’s not angry and crying because she wants kids.
And others that they’re not weeping because they miss their parent.
That crying, or sadness, or anger, or weeping – may also be a result of the events that surrounded that loss. We may have just experienced some sort of trigger that has set us off unexpectedly.
We may be weeping because of the sheer terror or what we witnessed or felt. And we never, ever, ever want to go back to that agony ever again.
We do not want to see our ultrasound image or the tubes coming out of our child’s mouth, nor do we want to hear the helicopter taking off or the cop pounding on the front door.
Odd things may be a trigger. Sounds, smells, it varies.
After hearing loud knocking I used to become completely distraught from memories of what I saw and heard in the ER. I would get into a loop in my head, and couldn’t stop replaying images. It’s gotten much better, and I am working on it with my therapist, but it still happens.
We may get angry or anxious and “say you just don’t understand” because you are trying to tell us while we cry, that love will be found again, or that a child will come to us in some way, or that they are in a better place.
We will want you to know us missing them or wanting them is NOT the reason we are crying. We are crying from the raw emotions and fear of ever, ever witnessing or working through that ever again.
And explaining that makes it worse. Because then we have to re-live it again. And again.
If you are the one going through the loss, know that you do NOT need to explain what you are crying about, or how you feel. The person consoling you wants you to be ok, regardless of the reason you are upset. You can explain if you’d like, but it’s also ok if you don’t.
If you find that your increased crying is from a trigger (noise, smell, etc) or a fear of those things ever happening again, it may be time to work with someone to ease those feelings of anxiety. You do not need to be stronger and just get through those feelings of fear. Shoving them down makes it worse. Much worse, And then they pop up at the most inopportune time…
If you are the one consoling a friend or a loved one- please know we may not be weeping over what you think is the loss. Just be there. It may be uncomfortable to not say anything, but it’s ok to just stand there and let the person be upset.
Crying is not a bad thing. It is a healthy release of emotions. If you notice your crying is from fear, however, it is time to talk things out.
Being strong is not about not showing emotion, being strong is knowing when it is time to ask for help. And help is there.