A recent conversation with a mom experiencing intense grief led to her children getting upset when they saw her cry. She was scared of scarring them with her crying and had taken to hiding her tears.
I asked her to maybe talk to her children about the monsoon.
How does it feel before it rains? Often hot and gloomy.. the clouds are overshadowing everything and the humidity is uncomfortable.
How does it feel during the rain? It sometimes refreshing and light, sometimes its torrential and scary. Sometimes we are able to watch it and feel delight, sometimes its force takes us by surprise and we feel scared.
How does it feel after the rain? The sky is bluer, the trees are greener, the roads and rooftops look cleaner. The air has a crispness and the smell of wet earth makes it all worthwhile.
Can crying be like rain in the heart? If it becomes that, can they try to see how it makes mom feel good after the rain? And can they watch her but not be scared? Because they are safe and she is safe.
How do your children react to you processing grief? How do they respond to you crying? Can we break taboos and normalise tears? Not the kind that causes flooding ans displaces people, but the kind that stops to give you a fresh perspective, and comes in response to a stifling need to release.