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When People Tell You Not to Cry


Bereavement Relief

Posted On: Feb 22, 2017

When People Tell You Not to Cry

Sometimes, in spite of their best intentions, the people who offer you comfort go about it the wrong way. At other times, a person might just say something terribly senseless. You can usually tell the difference, at which point you can act accordingly. First and foremost, understand that no one else has any control over the way you express your emotions. Your grief is unique. It's yours. As long as you aren't hurting yourself or others, then there's no wrong way to grieve. Bearing that in mind, here are a few possible responses when someone tells you not to cry.

Walk Away

You're under no obligation to listen to anyone's take on how you grieve. You don't even have to remain in their presence. Even if you're dealing with a relative or a close friend, if the tone gives off certain vibes or if the “advice” doesn't seem to come from a loving, supportive place, then you should excuse yourself. There's no reason to address what the person said—your emotions are your business, and so is the way you express them.

Ask “Why?”

No one needs to dictate to anyone else how to react to a death or a tragedy. When someone has the audacity and lack of tact to say this, they should also have the confidence to back up their opinion. Ask why they feel this why, why you shouldn't cry over something that hurts, or why they think that advice is helpful or supportive.

Stand Up for Your Feelings

Speak up for your right to feel your feelings. If your crying makes someone uncomfortable, then that issue belongs to that person. Explain your pain, your sadness, and your longing. Share how much you miss the person you lost, what your loved one meant to you, and how the loss affects you. Instead of following impractical advice, help the person understand why you're crying—and why you have every right to weep.

Keep Crying

Don't stifle your feelings just because someone else thinks you should. No one knows exactly what you're feeling. No one should ever dare to presume your grief. We spend so much time stressing how unique bereavement is because it's vital to understand that. Grief is personal, unique, and individual. If you feel like crying, then go on and cry.

Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with such thoughtless words of “compassion.” However, the truth is that it happens, and because the situation is so delicate and devastating, it's easy to be shocked into complying. Please don't. You deserve to feel your emotions.