Today, volunteer Lynette Fager and Client Advocate Denise Glasser share their thoughts on Regina Brett’s Life Lesson #12: It’s ok to let your children see you cry.
“My mother isn’t one to cry often. In fact, in my 24 years, I have seen her cry very little, and never for herself. But the day she told us she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, I saw her cry — for herself, for her husband, and for her three children and two grandchildren. But instead of scaring us, as she feared her tears would, they drew us closer together as a family. Instead of seeing her tears as a weakness, we saw them as a sign of her love for her family and her zeal for life!
My mother is a beautiful woman who battled bravely against breast cancer and won! She met each obstacle in her path with a can-do attitude. But if it hadn’t been for her tears, her children might not have understood just what that journey meant to her, and to us. When mom cried, we knew how much she needed us! It was not only OK for my mom to let us see her cry; it was an important part of our journey with her. ”
~ Lynette Fager, volunteer
“I have to admit to being a tender-hearted soul. For years, I tried to pretend otherwise. I thought showing emotions meant I was a weak person and that other people would see me as vulnerable and not able to take care of myself — let alone help others. It is amazing how that has all changed.
My dad died 7 years ago when my oldest child was 5 years old. I tried to be strong for everyone, so I did most of my crying in the bathroom after everyone else was in bed. What I didn’t know was that my 5 year old son was coming downstairs and heard me crying through the door. I don’t know how long this went on until one day he told me he was scared. He knew something was wrong and thought I was sick, like grandpa. I had to tell him the truth about how I was very sad about my dad dying and what he was hearing was me crying. He told me he was sad too and asked if he could come to the bathroom with me and cry too.
With that comment, he reminded me that I wasn’t alone in my grief and that hiding in a bathroom is no way to deal with emotions — mine or my child’s. Through sharing my tears with my son, I not only received comfort and gave comfort, I also showed my son that it’s a good thing to be honest about your feelings.”
~ Denise Glasser, client advocate