​As human beings, we have a habit of walking away when our loved ones need us most. We are afraid of pain and seeing other people express it openly often unsettles us. We find ourselves unsure of what to say or do. And a lot of the time, that uncertainty keeps us away. “I’ll give them some time,” we say, “they’ll be alright.” My question today is, does this help? And why on earth do we think it does?

If you know me, you know I’d never cry in public. Not if there’s something I can do about it. Now during my father’s funeral,  i kept excusing myself from the crowd and locking myself in the bedroom to weep.

And when I was done, I’d wipe my tears,  wash my face and come back out to play host; poker face and all. I noticed more than a few people staring at my face, looking for signs of tears or some sort of emotion but I showed none. Because where I come from, you don’t show your emotions in public. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I was accused of strength as if it were a medal of honor. Once or twice, I explained that someone had to make sure everything was going okay considering there were only three of us hosting and attending to the hundreds of co-mourners. If I lost it, my mother and two siblings would probably lose it too. Then what? Another time, I nearly bit someone’s head off. But I won’t get into the details. People can be so insensitive.

Anyway, all through the four days, we received an overwhelming amount of support from our friends. Some of them dropped everything and sat with us all day and all night for the entire week, even after the funeral had ended. It’s the kind of thing none of us will ever forget. Thank you. To the people who have kept visiting us every day, calling us, bringing us food (because we haven’t cooked at all since it happened. Junk food has been our life), praying with us, praying for us;  Thank you so so much. For those who let us talk about our loved one (because that’s what our hearts need right now), thank you so much. My baby, Jojo, who held my hand for most of it, and let me cry on her shoulder even though she hates crowds and the tears probably made her uncomfortable, I have no words. But know that my heart fills up with gratitude when I think of you. But like you said, I’d have done the same thing for you.

I know it’s hard to be around sad people, and it’s hard to listen to the painful details of how we feel right now, but thank you for listening anyway, and for the words of encouragement  (for those who offer them). Thank you for holding our hands and helping us whenever and wherever you were able to.

We really really appreciate it.

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