The past 6 months have been extremely difficult for me, probably some of the most difficult times I have ever had. I've had a full hysterectomy, double mastectomy and then, three days after completion of my recovery, I lost one of the most cherished people in my life, my mother. My mom’s unconditional love taught me to be honest with my emotions.
During the week of her funeral, I realized something about myself. Many people grieve privately. They appear very tough and appear to those around them, to be in complete control and unaffected. These people put on a public persona and handle tough times themselves, while I am more open with my sadness. As my husband says, I wear my emotions on my sleeve.
I have always been one to talk about and share my honest emotions. I believe my sister sees this as being weak or complaining. That is not at all what I am doing. I prefer to verbalize my emotions. This allows me to be real and be able to heal. I feel like it is easier to deal with hard times when I am letting those around me understand and support me. I have certain friends that I can be “real” with and share how I am feeling. They in turn know what they can expect from me. Friends are meant to support each other and I am so fortune to have a huge network of support.
It is okay to have weak moments. This does not mean you are a weak person. It is important for people to realize if they actually turn to those that love and support them in the tough times (because there will be tough times) then they will weather their crisis’ and stay stronger in the end. Having support from friends can often make it easier for you to learn from the tough times or maybe find good in the bad.
Our friends are gifts that are there to help us carry our crosses. Lean on those around you. Don’t try to weather your storms alone. To do so may break you down in the end. It is all too often that people break because they are busy trying to appear tough and unaffected. They think this will make them stronger when in the end it may actually do just the opposite. People often want to look like all is okay when maybe, if they let their friends know how they are really feeling, it would make their friends love and respect them even more.
Friends love to help friends so don’t try to weather your storms alone. Think about the words to the Keith Urban song, “Everybody” where he sings, “Everybody needs somebody sometimes."
Judy Goetz, VP Choose Joy, Inc