“Crying softens grief.” ~ Sue Rosenbloom

Please don’t hand a crying person a tissue! When you hand someone who is crying a tissue the person almost always stops crying. Imagine that you are sitting in a support group and the person sharing begins to cry or you are speaking with a friend who begins to cry as they tell you something difficult that they are going through. Your immediate thought may be to offer them a tissue. You break eye contact and go in search of a tissue in your bag, or in the room. You may even get up from your seat and get it. You hand it to them and now they (maybe suddenly feeling self-conscious) wipe their tears and blow their nose,,,and if you count to 3, chances are they have stopped crying. I don’t want people to stop their tears if they are letting them flow. I think that when we get up and hand a tissue, we are really saying, “Please stop crying, as you are making me very uncomfortable. Your tears are getting me in touch with my own pain, and I am afraid that l may cry as well.” Or I may be thinking, “Watching you cry makes me feel helpless which makes me uncomfortable.” Next time you see someone crying, just sit with them and listen. No need to jump and offer tissues. After all, that is what sleeves are for. Someone crying often doesn’t need anything except someone to be with them. Crying can be quite healthy for one’s immune system. Tears are part of the healing, not the hurting. Maybe this is the very first time that he or she feels safe enough to cry. I am glad they are feeling safe enough with me to cry. Let the tears flow. Please, try it out and watch the next time someone offers a crying person a tissue. And by the way, often a hug may act the same way that the tissue does, to stifle the person’s feelings. Hugs are welcomed and can be healing, but often not when a person is expressing feelings. We sometimes offer tissues or hugs to make ourselves feel better when actually it may not be what the person crying truly needs right this moment. It is always good to be aware of why we do the things we do and ask, “Is what I am about to do for their benefit or for my own?”
“Crying softens grief; and cleanses the immune system.” ~ Sue Rosenbloom

About Sue Rosenbloom, M.A., C.T.

Thanatologist: Loss and Grief Coach - My blog is for educational purposes only. I am not a licensed professional counselor - Bachelor of Arts in Human Studies - Marylhurst University (2007)- Certificate in Thanatology - Hood College (2008) Master of Arts in Thanatology - Hood College (2009) Certificate in Thanatology - The-Association for Death Education and Counseling (The highest level of loss and grief education). * Hospice, Alzheimers and Senior's Advocate * Former first responder for Trauma Intervention Program, Inc. (TIP) * Hospice and Bereavement Volunteer for Providence Hospice Bereavement Program * Association for Death Education and Counseling Member * National Alliance for Bereavement of Children * Hood College Thanatology Association * American Group Psychotherapy Association * Marylhurst Gerontology Association * Oregon Gerontology Association * Hospice, Loss, Grief and Bereavement Researcher * Creative Writer
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2 Responses to “Crying softens grief.” ~ Sue Rosenbloom

  1. Pingback: Grief Advice and Support | With Sympathy Gifts

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