I am becoming a good griever. I wasn’t always, I used to bottle it all up until I found a quiet, private place – usually the shower – where I could sob and sob without anybody knowing. Because that’s what I thought best. No-one needs to see your suffering, no-one needs to know about this vulnerable – weak! – side of yours, that side that says: ‘This is too much for me right now, I need to let it out, I don’t think I can take this’.
As long as I can remember, I have always been too hard on myself. Not wanting to show vulnerability, to show pain, was – still is – part of that. When something bad happened, something that rocked my world, I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be there for the people involved, forgetting that I was actually one of them. I wanted to show the world that nothing could bring me down. I envied the people who could go through a funeral without wailing, who could finish their degree in time when a loved one died, who could keep themselves together.
The last year, I’ve been trying to be nicer to myself. I’ve been trying to treat myself the way that I treat others and to care a little less about how people see me. This is finding its way throughout my entire life. Being more or less plant-based is about being nice to me. Doing yoga is about what I want, what I think is good for me. Writing, too, is something I need and I’m beginning to realise that I shouldn’t not do it because I’m afraid of what other people will say. Acknowledging my pain to other people, that is about being nice to me, about my needs in times of need.
Guess what. I am a wailer. And I no longer think it is healthy to keep it all together. I think it is perfectly normal to drop down on the floor and scream. I think it is no big deal if you’re sobbing uncontrollably behind the wheel of your car in the middle of a traffic jam. I don’t think I need to care about my face looking as if I’ve been crying all day. Because I have. I am in pain and I don’t mind you seeing that. This is how I mourn and I am not ashamed of that. Not anymore.
I hope you have found what you have been looking for. You are missed.