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Matthew 5:4

People react in many different ways to the death of a loved one. Human emotions are complex, and no two people grieve in exactly the same way. But for all people, the grief work must be done. Even if it is not done at the time of death, it will have to be done eventually. When I am working with families after the death of a loved one, people often cry. Then it seems that someone in the room will announce to those crying “to be strong.” But the reality is you don’t need to be strong. Expressing your feelings is a natural, even necessary, way to express your grief. If that means that you need to cry, then go ahead and cry. If that means you need to yell, then go ahead and yell. Whatever you need to do to process the loss that has happened, whether that be immediately following death or sometime in the future, is fine. And you don’t need to be strong. Crying is a natural response to death, as is anger. So if you need to get your feelings out, go ahead and do it. You have permission to grieve in the way that helps you the most, despite what anyone else says. And as the Christian Bible tells us, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) So go ahead and cry. It’s okay.

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