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Grief, or How I’m Learning To Feel

>”Now the Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul…”” – 1 Samuel 16:1

###I’m not sure when it started but I just don’t grieve well.

I seem to float above the situation. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s losing a loved one, a job or something more superficial like the Seahawks losing the Superbowl (#GoHawks!). I get in to this “*someone has to be strong for everyone else and lead us though it*” mode and have a hard time wrestling with the flood of different emotions that come rumbling through after the event. Grief and the ability to process and understand it is a part of a healthy emotional state and I really want to learn how to do it.

When I lost my grandfather back in December of 2012 I was at a loss for words. He taught me much of what I know to this day about the outdoors and was an anchor point for me during my parents’ divorce. I learned to cope with the pain of losing my father’s presence on a daily basis through the lessons he’d teach me out on the lake/bay. When I stood there looking at his casket I found myself instinctively fighting the emotions that were flooding to the surface and began to get angry at myself. That man meant the world to me and I was trying to hold back tears? Why? Was it pride? Did I not want to show *weakness* in front of my wife and kids? Did I *actually* think that crying and showing emotions was a sign of weakness? Where did that *come* from? I still wrestle with these questions.

![The Green River in Washington’s Cascade Mountain Range](/content/images/2015/02/green-river-cascades.jpg)

Learning to deal with grief has been a part (albeit a large part) of my struggle to show emotions at all. I internalize so much that I tend to forget that I’m not showing on my face what is going on inside my head. Some of it is based on a defense mechanism that I’ve built over years of hostility directed at me from bullies. I’d tell myself “they won’t beat me up if I blend in” and then try to hide how much it would shake me up after the inevitable fight. I also had to hide how much I was hurting from friends and family so they wouldn’t worry about me. Remember my post yesterday? [*”I didn’t need help…”*]( I had to do this all on my own now and had no room for emotions getting in the way.

I began seeing the effects of years of stuffing my emotions shortly after I got married. Every time we would have conflict I’d see new layers of the emotional mess I had bundled up inside. My desire is to be open and honest with my wife and part of that is expressing my emotional state, how I feel about what is said and done. We don’t fight. We don’t demean each other. We don’t let those emotions get the best of us but we *have* to let them out. I have made great progress in better understanding how to show emotion in tough situations but have a *very* long road ahead of me.

###How about you? Do you grieve or do you stuff your emotions and let them fester?

###Who else is taking the 28 Day Challenge?

Near the end of January 2015 I felt the need to challenge myself (and others) with writing a new blog post every day for the month of February. I *need* to write for sanity’s sake and usually work better when I challenge myself. The rules are simple: write a new post to your blog every day before 10am PST. The post needs to have at least 2 paragraphs. We are going for quantity, not quality. If you join in post a link to the others who are joining in this challenge to help build exposure. This is all about helping build the discipline of daily writing.

**John C. Massie:** [](
**Twitter:** [@johnmassie](

**Christopher (Twisted Christian):** [](
**Twitter:** [@twistedxtian](

Sean Leacy

Christ follower, husband & father. Geek extraordinaire, SysAdmin & avid outdoorsman. I love to lead worship & write. #DadLife #RedeemingFatherhood