Monday, October 22, 2012
OT: It Takes a Real Man to Cry
I have been following obakesan's [Chris] blog for a long time. The articles are always thoughtful, thorough, and have good content. But lately, after the untimely passing of his wife, he has written many heart warming, thought provoking essays on coping with the loss of loved ones. They are helpful not just for releasing his own grieves, but will also be immensely helpful for others in the same situation. Too many people, especially men, have locked up their feelings inside, fearing that being emotional is a sign of weakness. This could lead to tragic endings.
I lost my father due to lung cancer. He was a heavy smoker until two years before his death. He tried, but could not quit smoking. When he finally succeeded, it was too late. Dying of cancer is one of the worst ways to end one's life. It was painful and anguish to see a person full of life and vigor slowly getting weaker, helpless and finally wittered. In so many ways, a sudden death would have been a blessing.
My father and I were not very close, as I grew up with my mother and I didn't see him again until I was 16, but I always corresponded with him in regular intervals. No, my parents were not divorced, but they were separated, not in legal sense, but physically. My father left China when I was very young, and we didn't re-unite in Canada until I was 16.
I was confused upon my father's death. I didn't know how I was supposed to feel. I felt sad, but not overly so and I thought I would have forgotten him very soon. This is just not true. In fact, I thought about him more now than before. At times, I even felt like crying. Fortunately, my wife and I are very close and we talk to each other about this often. It has been a great help to me and I am very thankful to have someone to discuss our inner feelings.
It takes a real man to cry and talk about his emotions. I know Chris will live his life to the fullest, because he is taking steps to recover and heal. Losing someone does not mean you have to stop and forever morn the loss and be trapped in it until the end of time. For sure, we will be reminded often of the loved ones we lost, but it should bring back happy memories which add to the richness our lives. It's part of life's journey, knowing that life would have been far worse without those memories we shared with loved ones. So, open up. Cry if you have to, and talk about it, but don't keep the grief inside you.