Fear, the “why” of crying, and getting help.

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.



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6 Comments on Fear, the “why” of crying, and getting help.

  1. Anne
    October 28, 2014 at 6:47 pm (6 years ago)

    Oh Hannah,
    Your timing is scary. I could not explain to Roger why I was crying yesterday. It is so complicated.

    • Hannah
      October 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm (6 years ago)

      It is so extremely complicated. I totally get it!!

      • Katie
        October 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm (6 years ago)

        Dear Hannah,

        You are so very correct in your observation of Fear being such a strong factor in the aftermath of death. Many years ago I lost my 10 year son in a horrific accident. It has taken many many years to learn to live with that reality and I have always been silent about circumstances for as you say..that part is too painful to deal with. Recently a complete stranger asked me for the particular’s [out of curiosity?] I have no idea why they thought it was any of their business, but I walked away from the conversation. Once again it dredged up painful thoughts, fear of losing it all over again and constant thoughts you are not able to squash easily.

        We each learn what we have to do, how we are going to manage it, and the boundaries we set to cope. If you need to cry, go for it..If you need to scream, go for it..But finding peace, somehow, is the ultimate goal. Knowing that you loved, and no matter how long that person was in your life you are forever fortunate to have held them in your heart, arms, and memories. I choose not to relive the day.

        The weeks turn to months, the months turn to years, the years turn to decades..and we still hold the memories hopefully without the fear and pain.

        As you continue your journey…peace and love will be with you always..

  2. Alison
    October 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm (6 years ago)

    Many things will still trigger my raw moments of trauma/abuse/loss/children kidnapped/total destruction of personal belongings…. and though I have learned to struggle on to survive, I feel like it will never be truly forgotten. Therapy helped to understand it all, but ultimately, one has to search for their own boundaries and find their own peace.

    Many things, such as music, family celebrations, holidays, seasonal change, will stir up the feelings. Thankfully, the mind somehow compartmentalizes and squashes some of the clarity of the past trauma. I know it is not a picture perfect “Norman Rockwell” portrait life, that there are dysfunctional families and tragedies out there, but commercials, movies, holidays often paint such nostalgia and sentiment that arouse feelings. Many times I have to totally avoid big social gatherings, people’s inquiring conversations. I can’t explain it well enough about the anxiety and tears, nor can someone else console. It is what it is. It is complicated to explain, especially to those who have not yet had their “defining” moments of loss.

    Time moves on, love endures in the heart and mind that remembers more of the love and longing than the pain. Not everyone finds a second chance at love and a family. One learns to live in a different kind of peace and contentment, alone. Work has always been such a salvation, but then there are times when away from work, that anxiety and fears, tears creep in. One learns to forgive oneself for those moments and to release the tears… better that than a heart attack or panic attack.

  3. karen armstrong
    October 29, 2014 at 5:41 am (6 years ago)

    Wow…..this is the 2nd reading of the day that pertains to the subject you have shared. Anna, a young woman in the UK has Cerebal Palsy, she is beautiful Hannah. She does Angel Readings.
    Her music is so pure & angelic. It gives me the momentum to miss my George, cry & shout in my pillow due to my own physical limitations.

    No one can know what you feel other than you. That is the blessing of this journey.
    Although, there are those that have arms to hold you & allow you to cry, scream, moan, cuss & fuss, they can only know how you feel by you telling them.
    That is the joy of this type of pain.

    You have encouraged me in ways you don’t know. Thank you for your sharing dear one. My mantra is not “it could be worse” (hell I have known worse & then some) my Mantra is …..IT WILL GET BETTER.
    Sometime, someday, somewhere it will get better. Maybe an hour, maybe a day, 2 days…..there will be that BETTER at least for a moment.
    Love with kindness dear one.
    karen in Haugen.

    http://annataylormusicangel.wordpress.com/ This entry was what I had just finished reading before I read yours. Yep I am being blessed. Tears but blessed.

  4. Dwayne
    November 21, 2014 at 6:41 am (6 years ago)

    I am not commenting to help you understand anything, to give any outstanding advice or anything like that. I just want to let you know that you have been thought about a lot since all this has taken place.