Emotions are:

⦁ an effective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or like is expressed;


⦁ any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, and so forth, that are usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, an increased heartbeat, or rapid respiration, and often overt manifestation, such as crying or shaking

Express your emotions. Do your best to not suppress your emotions. Give yourself permission to express these emotions. You the griever who will set the tone for the grieving process for yourself, as well as those around you. Whatever you need to do to express your feelings—cry, scream, whisper, laugh, or just stare off into space—do not hold back. These emotions may or may not come in waves. They sometime come and go, with no apparent trigger.

The grievers all around you will follow your lead. If they see you expressing your emotions, they will know that it is okay for them to share theirs as well. This is extremely important for your children. They do not know how to grieve properly. They are watching you. Most parents and adults are unaware that they are teaching the children around them how to grieve.

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If you choose to grieve alone in private, outside of the public eye, your children will do the same. Your children, no matter the age, will follow your lead. If you hold back and do not talk, grieve, or show your emotions, neither will they. As painful as these emotions are, they are normal and natural.

When I was around a friend or family member who would cry with me for my loss of Austin, it felt good to know that they understood my pain. It felt good to know that they were not only there to comfort me, but also, they were feeling my pain as well. I understood that they loved him too.

Our world was turned upside down when Austin was taken from us. We needed to be comforted by our family and friends. The pain in our hearts was very real. People came from all around to hold space with us. Sit with us. Talk with us. Or just to be there. It was so important to let them into this most private time in our lives. It was equally important not to be afraid of these feelings. It was about just allowing them in, without judging ourselves or those around us.

Sharon Brubaker

About Sharon Brubaker

Grief is individual and unique for every person. A person’s relationship to each aspect of their life is also unique. As such, the feelings and thoughts each person will have about the relationship that has been altered by death, divorce, or other reasons requires customized attention using proven skills and understanding.

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