“To weep or not to?”

 If I may ask who or what is it that had drawn tears from your eyes in recent time? How painful really was it?

The question “To weep or not to?” is a major debate amongst believers, from time to time.

Although, people react differently to the loss of a dear one while some finds it easy and comforting, some finds it difficult or embarrassing to show their feelings.

Sunday, a dear friend once said, “at the death of my father, at first, I took it like a man but at the funeral I couldn’t help it, I wept. I wept ‘cos I realized then that he is gone forever”.

He said he took it initially ‘like a man’-I wonders how a man should take death news. However, I’ve realized that our reactions depend largely on our personality, upbringing, religion, belief and culture. In some cultures, open display of emotions is rare, especially amongst the men who had been conditioned to hide their feelings.

Infact, a male friend told me, when his mum was in the mortuary, he was in a bus and a song sang by Faith Evans and Puff daddy “ANGELS” was played. He got so welled up in his emotions; he had to get down at the next bus stop (not his destination) because tears were rolling down his cheeks. Of course, it would be embarrassing if co-occupant of the bus realizes that he was crying, he a man!

At times, this restriction of emotion is not to the men only but to the women likewise especially where there is a belief in reincarnation that life is a cycle and the dead would come to live again and again… such as is the Yoruba’s belief in child’s death. The Yoruba’s are a tribe in Nigeria and when a child dies they call he/she ‘ABIKU’ and no one is expected to mourn, including the mother.

But, culture aside, when we have suffered the loss of a dear one to death, is it wrong for us as believers to cry and grief?  Is it normal to grief? And for how long?

On the third year anniversary of my dad’s death, I was alone on my bed, then in school, crying. A friend saw me and came over to find out what was wrong and consoled me.  I actually told her, I was missing my dad and wished he were alive and not death. She nodded her head in understanding and tried to console me, saying,

Timmy, Please stop crying, remember in 1st Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 13, Paul wrote that ‘but I would not have you ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope”

She left and I was left alone to my thought. Could she be right? Maybe I was not supposed to cry? Is grieving a sin? Several other questions went to and fro my mind without any answer until years later.

But in all truth, is it a sin to weep?

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