Numb feelings. That was my defense mechanism during the peak of my grief. I needed to shut down the emotional part of myself to survive the unspeakable grief that befell my family. I shut down the part of me that felt anger, sadness, fear, joy and perhaps, love. It was an unhealthy move.
It is okay to have and feel our feelings. All of Them.
During my rebellious teen-age years, the outspoken me often got a tongue-lashing from my parents for verbalizing my feelings. I lived in the old-fashioned parenting style where parents refused to tolerate my emotions. I got shamed or reprimanded for expressing feelings and I don’t blame them. Their own parents taught them to repress their own.
Times have changed. It is okay now to acknowledge and accept our emotions. I don’t allow my emotions to control me though, neither do I need to repress my feelings in a rigid fashion. My emotional center forms a valuable part of my physical wellness, my thinking and spirituality.
Last night, my husband rolled over to my side of the bed, hugged me and sighed “I’m sad”. I cuddled him in my arms and reassured him “it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to let it go too”. I understand his sadness. The lousiest day of the year is nearing Luijoe’s 9th death anniversary date on May 27. It is the day that is etched on some stone somewhere and the day a part of our sweetness left us forever. Intelligent preparation in anticipation of this stark day and the empty sadness it brings doesn’t really help. It is the grief pattern of most bereaved parents no matter how many years have elapsed. We know the these waves of profound sadness can be relentless and the big one is coming on that date.
It is not a sign of weakness nor deficiency for indulging in our feelings. It means we’re becoming healthy and whole. I know there will come a point when this temporary sadness will move on to reflect happy feelings. There will be days that I’ll be upset but then I know that I will allow myself to recognize and accept whatever feelings pass through me. Without shame, I allow myself to tune in to the emotional part of myself.
What about you? Don’t just say Mad, Sad or Glad,
Here are a list of feeling words and expressions that can be used to more accurately describe what is going on in your heart, mind and body
Words and phrases which reflect feeling upset:
Unhappy, disappointed, distressed, disappointed, disturbed, saddened, troubled, offended, displeased, mourning, grieving, mixed up, out of balance, disorganized, dismayed, wounded, troubled, weepy, letdown, confused, out of synch, inner turmoil, shook up, lonely, afraid, worried, concerned,
Words and phrases which reflect happy feelings:
Pleased, full of joy, giggly, pleasure, satisfied, contented, grateful, hopeful, enthusiastic, cheerful, optimistic, in high spirits, blissful, exultant, cheerful, on cloud nine, lucky, blessed, fortunate, delighted, thankful, relieved.
How are you feeling today?
Support Group for Child’s Grief
Good Grief, a play and support group to help grieving children heal through storytelling, art, games and journalling activities, will be held on MAY 22, 2009 from 9:30 to 12noon in Makati. If you know of children (ages 6-12) who would benefit from attending this group, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a slot. Class size will be limited.
Read more at Do Children Grieve?