Tuesday, April 2, 2019
That final moment, when grown men cry.
I'm often envious the way most straight guys can keep their emotions in check. Yes I know many of you will hate me saying this but my gay friends almost always cry in front of me sooner or later, while most of my straight male friends have never cried in front of me, even friends I have had since elementary school.
On Saturday while at the funeral of my neighbour, I couldn't help watch how people reacted. Human nature interests me. The daughters and granddaughters were all in tears at the loss of this sweet lady, while the sons and grandsons were stoic.
One of the sons I had become good friends with in my twenties. He is a likeable guy, my parents thought the world of him, a thoughtful, very trust worthy, decent man. Of all the children, he was probably the closest to his mother, I wondered about him and how he "really" felt inside. Yet he remained strong throughout the funeral.
The mass came to an end and the coffin was carried to the back of the church. I knew this is the time, "the final moment" when a man's nerves of steel will bend, crack, maybe even break and the boy inside will appear. As they paused and the funeral directors were about to take away the coffin, I saw my friend suddenly look up in anguish, tears coming down, his brother losing control as well. It's the final moment, when you have to say goodbye forever to someone you loved. In that moment he is not an emotionless man, he's a son saying goodbye to his mother one last time and that can be a very powerful emotion. I found myself feeling deeply saddened but also honored to have witnessed this moment.
Posted by Sooo-this-is-me at 10:04 PM
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Showing emotion is healthy. Straight men are conditioned from the cradle to not show any because emotions are considered 'feminine'. Nothing further from the truth.
Marriage and death bring other people closer together. Is he your type?
Very sweet, Steven. It's funny, my father was very free with his tears, my mother was not.
In my experience straight guys express emotions frequently. Anger is an emotion.
It is good your friend was able to release his sadness, but a shame he felt prohibited from doing so during the service.
I second old lurker's first sentence.
Young boys are taught to be "strong" and crying is seen as a weakness. It's not.
To riff on Old Lurker's comment -- Under patriarchal values, little boys are systematically trained to repress their emotions. As men, the only one they are allowed to display without shame is anger. By contrast, under the same patriarchal system, women are allowed to express every emotion EXCEPT anger, which brings punishment down upon them.
We are all different aren't we. I have two boys , both cry at the drop of a hat and a daughter who is far too proud to be seen crying. Just like my mother. My husband cries at all sorts of weird stuff. I mainly cry at cruelty both to man and beasts ands strangely if my small granddaughter is upset.
Sexuality in loss is irrelevant. Loss brings different display of emotion. A funeral is a public event and some people (of either gender) want to “hold it together”. It doesn’t mean they don’t feel anything any more or less than the same person who breaks down. In fact some people want to hold it together because they want to hold it together and then crumble in a corner on their own. I know. I did it recently. I held it together because the funeral was seen as a celebration of life. The loss was an on going tragedy. Death sucks. And that’s the end of it.
That was a touching and tender post; I continue to marvel at your writing skills.
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