Crying is an outward release of emotions. During my adolescence years, I was often referred to as a cry-baby. I cried when I was upset, sad, frustrated, or annoyed. As I matured, I learned to control my emotions and hold the tears. Crying is something that I do not have time for.
Caregiving makes it difficult to hold the tears. Last year when informed that my mother’s hip was broken and required hospitalization and surgery, I burst in tears in the doctor’s office.
When my mother had a stroke, I was too busy to demonstrate emotions. After observing the stroke, I immediately called for medical assistance and notified family. Even after receiving bleak news from doctors and observing what may have appeared as a hopeless situation for someone that I truly loved, I could not pause to shed tears. Medical decisions had to be made and I wanted to present myself as a capable, clearheaded, responsible family caregiver.
However, weeks later I could not stop the tears from flowing. The tears came as water flowing from a stream. I cried regarding the frailness of my mother’s body. I cried for her mental and physical state. I cried because I felt tired and helpless. I cried for my physical and emotional state. I cried until I could receive encouragement from prayer and scripture. I continued until the tears stopped flowing as if a brook dried up. After the outpour of tears, I felt relief and strength. And then, I washed my face and returned to my caregiving responsibilities with hope and a smile.
Caregivers, it’s okay to release the tears.