Less Than Human.

I love my family dearly.

I said in my last post that my great grandmother passed away a few days ago. Her death has taken it’s toll but I am thankful that we are all just enjoying each other. We do not dwell on things like death for too long, and at first that made me feel conflicted because I thought mourning was how you showed the person that has passed that you really cared about them and loved them.

For the longest time I believed that I was less than human for not crying at, or going to, funerals. When I was younger I would avoid them because I hated to be around death, and now that I am older I regret not saying my final goodbyes when I had the chance. When my aunt Vick passed away, I went into my room before I went to sleep one night and I forced myself to cry because I wanted to prove to her, and myself, that I really loved her. I thought that because I was not naturally crying already, like some of my other family members, I did not truly love her.On the day of the funeral I sat next to my mother and uncle and put both my arms around my mom while they cried. I did not shed one tear in church, and I once again felt less than human.

I always thought that if I cried about something or someone, I cared. I believe that it confirmed that I loved them. I still believe that and I will always believe that to be true. However, after spending a few days with my family, I believe some other things now too.

I went to the Huddle House today with one of my Uncles, and in the car we had a conversation about his grandmother that recently passed. The most significant thing he said to me was:

I never shed one tear the day she died. I was her first grandson. I got married on her birthday. I was very close to my grandmother, maybe closer to her than anyone. I did not cry at her funeral because I knew she would not want me to mourn her death. She would want me to remember all the good times we had. That’s all I talked about that day, and that’s all I have talked about since she passed. Part of the reason why is because it makes it easier and the other part is because I wanted to be strong for her. Some people can’t do that and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. I just wanted to be strong for her.

I have heard that before. What he said was nothing I had never been told before, but I could see that he really meant what he said. That resonated with me. I do not have to cry to show that I loved someone. I do not have to force myself to mourn them. I know in my heart that I love every member of my family and that I would rather be strong for them than to cry. Not crying when someone dies does not make me any less human than anyone else. It does not make me evil or a bad person. It just means I want to be strong and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

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