Emotions Don't Die

Anytime I hear about someone losing someone else close to them I always take pause. Lately I've come to recognize how much loss I've experienced over the years. More than most folks my age. I think often of what it means to grieve and to experience and feel and understand loss.

I'm watching a documentary called The Interrupters. It's about a group of people in Chicago who literally interrupt gang violence. I recommend checking it out if you can. There's a crucial scene of a teen's funeral where the camera focuses on the mother and you see the extreme sadness she's feeling as tears roll down her face, but she's not crying. I don't think I ever really experienced grief or loss or sadness the way I did when my uncle died. Watching the scene of this mother -- she looked tired just as she looked sad -- made me think of sitting on that church pew and feeling the warm tears roll down my face. I was so tired of crying and being sad, but I couldn't stop the tears.

Makes me think that emotions are almost entities in and of themselves; separate from us but still very much apart. If you've ever been so sad for so long, I think you know what I mean. The way you can think there are no more tears left to cry and yet here they come, completely unaided by anything you're doing. You feel whether you acknowledge those feelings or not. You may ignore the sadness (or the anger, or even the happiness or surprise) but that does not mean you're not feeling those feelings. You can ignore the emotions until they don't show and even until you don't know, but they're still there.

Holding feelings in don't stop them from happening. Stops you from dealing with it. Stops others from seeing it, but if it's happening anyway why not let them happen and get them out?

I know. Easier said than done. I have no idea how to do it myself.

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