I just found out that one of my father's oldest and dearest friends died this morning. He had survived severe injuries in Vietnam, had survived a liver transplant, but today his heart said "I'm done". I sit and wonder how my father is feeling right now. Is he sad for his friend or is he scared about his own mortality? Of course my father is the type that will never tell you how he's feeling. He will do all the appropriate things over the next few days, he will laugh politely at stories told by people he probably doesn't even want to be speaking to, he will shed a tear quietly, though in public. But he will never say a word about how he feels. How painful that must be. I cannot say that I always handle my emotions very well, and I often feel as if I shouldn't be having the ones that I do. It is hard to feel bad and then feel bad about feeling bad. I wonder if that is what motivates him. Not believing that you deserve your emotions or that they are valid is an awful punishment to dole out to yourself.
I can't say that I know my father very well or understand him at all. Often I don't even like him that much, but I hate that he punishes himself for whatever reason. While feeling badly isn't something that I think you should wallow in, I know you have to allow yourself to feel what you feel. Of course the key is to then look at it, decide what is causing it, and make it better. But for goodness sakes feel it! Suppression, stoicism, I think they make you old before your time. Sometimes being sad makes me very tired, but I often find after the worst days I am at my best. Feeling very bad can be cleansing to a point. Whether for me it's crying out the toxins or hitting a bottom that forces me to bounce back up. Feeling nothing just makes you cold. And keeping it in makes you gruff and harsh. I will take over emotional, even borderline crazy(which I'm quite sure I am), over no emotion any day and twice on Sunday, as the saying goes. I've watched it and it's sad. And though I am sorry that David died today, he was a wonderful man and will be missed very much, I am glad that it reminded me that feeling what I am feeling right now is okay. And David would be glad to know that he was able to make me feel better today, and he would smile. So I will smile for him, and appreciate my life and push my sadness away for now. Until I feel it again, and it will be okay that I do.