Go Ahead and Have a Good Cry!

Like the sun coming through the clouds, a good cry can let light into your life.
Like the sun coming through the clouds, a good cry can let light into your life. | Source

My neighbor Judy and I were talking last night about our various losses in the last few years. I've lost both my parents in the past five years and she lost her husband two years ago. Her son is also fighting pancreatic cancer right now. We were saying that there are times when we just "lose it" and start sobbing. Sometimes it can come from a memory or reminder, or sometimes just from out of the blue. I can be washing a dish out in the sink and just start crying for what appears to be no reason. I'm not totally crazy because she says she does the same thing, and I've had others confess this too! What struck me was that if anyone is around, I immediately say "I'm sorry". I feel almost ashamed that I'm crying, like I'm some sort of weak, overly emotional, pathetic mess. And it suddenly hit me...why do I feel this way? Why is showing emotion so unacceptable these days?

I know it can be uncomfortable to see someone cry. A lot of people don't know what to say or how to give comfort. But what I am seeing more of is a sort of impatient, I just don't want to deal with this attitude. They say that you find out who your true friends are in a crisis. I found out that certainly is the truth. When my parents passed away I lost a lot of friends and now realize they were "fair weather friends". I wasn't my usual happy self and I had the gall to be depressed and sad for longer than a month! They didn't offer the support I expected and so i let the distance become permanent. I needed that support and if they couldn't give it, then I didn't need them in my life. I learned that in most cases if I wanted to cry, I did it alone. I find that so sad, that out society is that insensitive.

If it hadn't been for the crying I did, I probably would have never made it through a lot of things in my life. Crying is important. It's a stress reliever, a cleansing of sorts, a huge release. It is so important to your mental and emotional health to get it all out. I have no problem seeing someone cry. It makes me sad to see them in such pain, but I know how vital it is for them to do it. I don't cry to everyone, don't get me wrong. I still find I keep a tight control on it when I'm around others. But I also encourage anyone I'm around to cry if I see that they are welling up. I tell them it's ok, I totally understand, and to let it out. I have been amazed at how relieved they are and appreciative. They too have been feeling guilty crying in front of anyone.

We seem so afraid of emotions that we deem as "bad". Tears, grief, sorrow, sadness, depression, anxiety, etc... all perfectly normal, but ones we try to hide. Maybe it's the "never let them see you sweat" mentality. I don't know, but I hope people become more compassionate, but in the meantime, if you feel like crying...go ahead and make it a good, long one. Your mind and body will thank you for it. And if someone else cries, just put an arm around their shoulder and let them get it out. We need to respect ourselves enough to know that we have earned the right to cry.

I found this quote and loved it and wanted to share it:

Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in awhile, so that we can see life with a clearer view again. --Alex Tan

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Comments 16 comments

Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 5 years ago from Delaware

Great advice! I have NO problem easing my sadness or stress with a good cry. I feel strengthened by the experience and empowered by being true to my inner self.

When my mom passed away, I cried for a month straight. I wondered where all the tears came from. Once I made it 24 hours without crying, I knew I was finally beginning to adjust to daily life without her physical presence.

Had I not felt free to cry, I know I would have suffered great physical and emotional turmoil.

Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 5 years ago from Massachusetts

I don't have a problem with crying or being around someone else who does, but my reasons for controlling it around others are more a matter of my own preference, and my own wish not to have what's already a difficult experience for me further complicated by someone else being involved in "the picture". Basically, if it's something that's enough to make me cry, it's something I feel deeply and consider very personal. It's not a time when I want anyone else in my "space bubble", and, to me, being hugged would feel like a violation of my personal space (and yet another way in which, by virtue of the other person's not realizing that, I was yet further alone in this world and in my sadness).

Now, on the other hand, while I'm not one to go around crying in front of other people; I'm a real expert at saving up the tears until the time is right, and the actually "scheduling" (I mean that LOL) a time when I'm going to invite a good cry and then "go wild" wallowing in it. :) It appears to me, that it takes about three or four months for me to build up a really good cry. :)

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Jen's Solitude, Crying is strenthening, as you said. Sorry about your mom...I lost mine four years ago and still cry to this day about it, but not as often. It took a long time to not cry every day, but it did help me through it tremendously. Thanks for reading my hub.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Lisa, I never thought that some people would feel like being hugged was invading their space...I guess I've always been a huggy type person and so I forget some people aren't that way. But it brings up a good point, that "comforting" someone comes in different forms, I guess. Thanks for the other point of view.

Karanda profile image

Karanda 5 years ago from Australia

Thank you catgypsy for sharing some raw emotions. Most people would be grateful for an arm across the shoulder when they feel the need to cry but there are others who would feel an intrusion.

My thoughts are that it is all about taking the time to listen. You'll know instinctively what forms of comfort are appropriate depending on the situation. Thank you for sharing a most difficult topic and doing it with such compassion.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Thanks, Karanda, for your comments and for reading my hub! And, yes, you're right. It's about taking the time to listen.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Way to go for letting go of those fair weather friends when your parents passed away. In my mental health field we say, "there is no time limit on grief." The ones who have problems with others that are grieving are uncomfortable with it for some reason. When my dad died, I cried so hard for a year. One day I came home to my apartment and one of my neighbor's next to me, left a basket of goodies with a note. She said, "I know you are grieving your father, I hear you cry at night. I am here if you need me." She was a true friend and knew I had to grieve for as long as I needed. This is a great hub and I'm so glad you shared it.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Minnetonka, thanks so much. Wow, what a great neighbor. Talking about crying, this just brought tears to my eyes! Why can't there be more people like your neighbor in this world? Hope all is going well for you.

Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

What a beautiful reminder that crying is "HEALTHY." I too let friends go when they couldn't handle my despair of a friend dying and another time when I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Can you believe that a fundraiser that my family put together caused a few of my friends to abandon me. I think these people that leave us at these times are God's way of getting rid of evil in our lives.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Minnetonka, you are so right. We don't need those kind of people in our lives. That is so sad about the fundraiser, but I'm not surprised! These people should learn the definition of "karma". Hope you are doing well.

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hi Catgypsy.

I really like and relate to this hub. You've hit on something extremely important and in need of exposure: that we have forgotten how to care; we've turned our backs on the truth; on real situations in order to act as if nothing touches us and 'everything is ok.'

I don't know how or why we are like this. I have always valued and cherished empathy...the ability; innate drive, to feel for,help and comfort others when in pain/sadness. Why some turn their backs on this is beyond me...life isn't always a big party..sometimes, we actually encounter situations and losses which elicit sorrow, sadness and the need for release...to cry.

I understand (first, let me offer you my sympathy for the loss of your family; your parents...one of life's most difficult losses) your deep sorrow during this time and cannot fathom why some of your "friends" were not lovingly available to you when you needed them most. I've experienced this, too...I imagine we all have from time to time. A sad statement.

You said: "And it suddenly hit me...why do I feel this way? Why is showing emotion so unacceptable these days?" Indeed....why is showing emotion considered unacceptable? Why do we allow ourselves to walk this life 'projecting' images of ourselves rather than being ourselves...and this includes having feelings.

This rings true with another of your hubs about the brutality and violence and disrespect on TV...same thing. We have become so anesthetized; having been bombarded with such extreme images and 'messages,' that the everyday real experiences we all face hardly register. Again, quite sad.

And, you've summed it up very well:

"...that out society is that insensitive."

Great hub, Catgypsy...up awesome interesting and useful

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 5 years ago from the South Author

Lucky Cats, thanks so much for your comments. Like you, I have always cherished empathy and can't understand people who have none. You were spot on with "'projecting' images of ourselves rather than being ourselves". It is sad that we feel we have to hide our emotions, and while I still do this a lot, I have come to the point where I just don't care...if you can't handle my sorrows, then go away!

Right after the 9/11 attacks, people sort of came together and were kinder. It was a great feeling, even though it came from such a horrifying event. But it slowly faded away and that was a shame. While I hope we never have to face something like that again, I do hope something makes people realize that the selfish attitude of today has to be dropped. We have to care and help each other.

All I can say is that not only are your animals lucky, but anyone who has you as a friend is lucky too!

Bonitaanna profile image

Bonitaanna 4 years ago from Oil City, PA

Thank you Catgypsy, I am also one of those people with alot of empathy for others and their trials in life. I can relate to so many situations that others have had, that I have experienced and when I see these situations played over and over in movies on tv, I just sit there and sobb. I wrote a poem called "Why Do People Cry". Go to my sight, you will like it. I was really surprised after I wrote it, that some people on Hub also have written about crying.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South Author

Thanks for reading my hub Bonitaanna. We are too self conscious about crying in this country, like it's a sin. I hope more people decide to give in and sob! I will definitely read your poem.

Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

My definition, but use it where you may: "Tears are the windshield washers of the soul." Fine article, though another useful expression comes to mind: "Give up a friendship as slowly as you made it." Not bad advice.

catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 4 years ago from the South Author

Great quote about tears! As far as the friendship quote, I spent most of my life doing exactly that, and while it might be true in some cases, I also found that I wasted a lot of precious time and energy on friends who I should have parted ways with long ago. Sometimes we just need to end something that's not making our lives any better. Thanks for reading!

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