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“Do I Have to Cry?” (And Other Common Questions About Grief and Loss)

by Legacy Staff

Grief brings a multitude of emotions—and a lot of questions.

If you are grieving the loss of someone important, you may be experiencing feelings you’ve never felt before. Some may be surprising or disconcerting, or even cause you to wonder, “Is this normal?” While each person’s grief is unique, many of the questions people have about the grief process are not. Find answers below to some of the most common questions about loss and grief.

Do I Have to Cry to Grieve?

“My father died recently. I have been very sad, but I have not cried. Do I have to cry to grieve?” Crying is not a measure of your sadness nor proof of your grief. To appreciate that grief and tears don’t have to go together, you need to understand these two things.

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If I Start Crying, Will I Be Able to Stop?

Grieving people sometimes hold back their tears based on the fear that if they start crying, they won’t be able to stop. it’s logical that you might be unwilling or unable to show or express the normal and natural painful reactions to the death of someone important to you.

Do Men and Women Grieve Differently?

No two people—no matter their gender—grieve alike. But research suggests there is a “male model” and a “female model” of grief. What is important is that grief be expressed. What is not important is the specific manner in which that expression occurs.

The Five Stages of Grief

If you’ve ever been through a loss, or observed a friend who was grieving, you probably recognize the overwhelming emotions described in these stages. But you might also be thinking that the grief you’ve experienced wasn’t quite that tidy.

Understanding Mourning

Mourning is an essential part of the grief experience. Though grief never truly goes away, we can work through it and achieve some healing — but this won’t happen easily when feelings are bottled up and not expressed.

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