I have vivid recollections of the days following my brothers murder. My mom would retreat to the small bathroom in our old farmhouse, and weep and groan, for hours, it seemed. It was the only place she could gain any privacy. I recall my my dad, standing beside her, rubbing her back, unsure of what else he could do. His tears were not as evident or prevalent as hers though. Actually, I don’t know if I EVER saw my dad shed tears, though I am certain his heart was full of pain.
Men and women are obviously different in countless ways, and how we grieve is no exception. Traditionally, men may not want to appear weak or out of control of a situation, while women have no problem sharing their true feelings or weaknesses. Perhaps this is from centuries of little boys being told not to cry—to be strong—keep a stiff upper lip—be a man. Men also tend to move more toward doing things, taking on physical chores and staying busy, rather than expressing themselves in verbal and emotional ways. (Yet, I admit, if I could physically run from coast to coast, just to relieve my mind of the agony, I would do it!)
Meanwhile, females often are able to share their grief more openly with their support system, and usually make the step to go to group settings where there is a common bond between grievers. Sometimes, women are pigeon holed into overreactive, emotional basket cases if sorrow manifests itself in crying too much.
But what is “too much,” and should there be a limit on how long or how greatly the crying persists, or what gender one may be?
I think not. Coping patterns can be reversed, or combined. We can understand and support each other so much better when we lend grace and mercy during these times of heartache.
Grief and sorrow should be a judgment-free zone!
The linked article may help clarify further, and please know we are here to walk with you, no matter what!