Babies are emotional beings right from birth. As parents we know that babies respond to emotional expressions such as smiling within the first few weeks of life. Within three months babies can react to and express joy, interest, anger, sadness and disgust.
Babies and young children express their emotions without reservation. In time, they however learn to control and even conceal some of their feelings, especially when they are sad, frightened, or angry.
As adults we lose our ability to communicate spontaneously. We become guarded. Many of us may still be comfortable expressing positive emotions, such as joy, pride and happiness, but will refrain from sharing feelings that we fear may make others uncomfortable.
The grieving process that walks hand in hand with terminal illness however catapults the bravest of us into a whirlpool of emotions ranging from fear, sadness and anger to irrational hope.
We are what we are. If you are naturally an introvert it will be very difficult to reach out to others when we or a loved one battles a serious or terminal illness. This makes the grieving process difficult for us. People who are comfortable in expressing their emotions are usually more able to reach out to others for the support and reassurance that they need.
When I am scared or angry I withdraw within my safe place where no one is welcome or allowed. In fear I will push people away from me. Anger is different – I will lash out and go for the jugular. Fear for my family will bring out the most primal instincts in me. I will do anything to protect them.
To maintain control I hold tightly onto my emotions– I know that if I allow myself to falter even a little, I may collapse into a whimpering heap of tears. It has taken superhuman efforts to allow Vic to see some of my pain. Well, I fool myself that she only sees some of it. Vic knows so well how my life will screech to an end the day her life ends… We have spoken about absolutely anything and everything. She knows my heart.
Tomorrow morning Jared will have a lymphoma biopsy.
Today, when I saw the tears of fear form in Vic’s eyes, I said “Stop! We never cry in front of the children”
Tomorrow I will smile, support and encourage.
Tonight I will weep for my beautiful grandson, his mother and his little brother……..I will weep for his grandfather and everyone who loves and admires him.
When I wipe my last tears I will retreat to my safe place….. Tomorrow I will smile, support and encourage.