Rub Some Dirt On It

We have all been taught things early in our life that were wrong.  Not the 2 + 2 = 4 kind of stuff.  I mean life stuff, the kind of stuff that shapes your approach to things in life.  How you respond to certain life events.  These events can be good or bad.  However, depending on how you respond can have lasting impacts.

The one “lesson” that stands out the most for me is being taught that it is a sign of weakness if you cry or show emotions.  I was never directly told that, however, certain actions of others and comments directed towards me taught me this unfortunate message.  One of these actions that I witnessed (or didn’t) was the fact I never saw a grown man cry when I was a kid.  I also heard comments like “big boys don’t cry” or “toughen up” and they had lasting impacts on me that caused great psychological pain after the death of my two children.  If I would have been taught from a child that it’s okay to show emotion or even feel it for that matter, it would have helped me process my losses.  Instead, I spent my energy on fighting the pain and emotions which ultimately caused depression.

There is something unnatural about not showing your emotions when you are sad or depressed.  It’s okay to do it when you’re happy, why not when you’re hurting?  Great question that I don’t have an answer for, but it took me a while to reeducate and train my mind that it was okay to show emotion.  It is okay to let others know you are hurting and it’s certainly okay to ask for help.

What kinds of “lessons” were you taught that may have been misguided?

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User Comments ( 7 )

  • I’m lucky I guess in a way as I often cry now even though is 9 years since our angel George was born asleep and we have been lucky to have two more children since then and we have 2 older children but there’s many I time I’ll sit here in my bedroom on my laptop with tears in my eyes thinking about the big hole that will always be in our family unit where George should be.I’ll never understand why it happens to so many more then I ever realisded and until we became one of the statistics ourselves Il’ll never forget those words sorry we cant find a hearbeat and knowing in my heart at that moment our angel was gone.

    • Grieving Dads


      Those moments of tears and reflecting on our beautiful children will always be a part of our lives. Sometime we’ll smile when we are thinking about them and other times we’ll cry. Both are very healthy.

      I wish I could understand why some many parents have to walk this path. I know it’s just life, but it still doesn’t take away the pain.

      Thanks for sharing Duncan.



  • Steven Stuart

    Growing up, I had an uncle who worked as a carpenter and general handyman. He always used to joke that after many years of doing this type of work that all you really needed to fix anything in life was duct tape and a hammer. For a lot of stuff this was pretty much true. Hell, many years later when I was playing rugby, one guy took a head butt that left a nice gash in the side of his head. He came out of the match, a teammate duct taped his head in order to control the bleeding, and he went back into the match…so it is true that duct tape does fix most anything. However, no hammer and no amount of tape will ever fix the hole left in my heart since Colin died. So, I guess that crazy uncle of mine was only partially right in his theory.

    • Grieving Dads


      As awesome as duct tape and a hammer can be, you’re right, it doesn’t fix this pain or hole left behind. I can say that using a hammer and soem lumber to finish my basement was therapy for me. No it didnt fix the hole in my heart, but it allowed me to be alone and to process. So maybe it can help in different ways.

      We all have a crazy Uncle. Some crazier than others.



  • I to have been taught this and things do become very painful after a while. Sooner or later you just find a corner and let it all out. It feels so good when that happens.

    • Grieving Dads

      It does feel good to be able to release. I use to be able to feel it building up inside. It still does but not as much and not as often.

      Keep letting it out.



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