Questions on Public Grieving

By: Tony Falzano
Monday, November 9, 2015

Tony Falzano takes a look at why we are so caught up in understanding how people grieve. He takes a look at our curiosity about how public figures grieve in a way to help us understand our own pain and grief. He asks and answers questions that help us understand our own grief as we look at the grief of others. A few of the questions he addressed are:

What do we learn from outward expressions of grief? Could it be that it is necessary for people to share their grief because truth is, it relieves them of carrying their pain alone? And are we there in their last moments of need and life because truth is, it’s our duty to be of service for others during their time of helplessness and maybe hopelessness? And truth is; are we being taught so we can teach if it’s our turn to deal with and share our own sorrow and grief with others?

by Tony Falzano

Have you noticed the attention the media gives to public figures suffering through terminal illness and grief? Most recently, activist Sergeant Shriver and attorney Elizabeth Edwards have been in the news. And before them, there were celebrities Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon.

As these public figures faced the paparazzi, they became role models as they witnessed to us their personal struggles with deteriorating health. In return, we have all been touched on a deep and cellular level. For some of us, it became a topic of conversation at the water cooler, in our car pool or at the dinner table.  

But why are some of us so moved by well known personalities who show us this side of their lives? You would think we would shy away from hearing such news. And you would think that this would destroy the myth that to publicly express grief is taboo. Does someone outwardly expressing their pain intrigue us, hold our attention, distract us and make us listen? Why? What are we supposed to learn from this public display of grief?

Maybe you have experienced this personally. Have you ever shared personal grief or sorrow with a group? What was their reaction to your news? Were they supportive, engaged and involved like we have been with the celebrities above? Did it open your eyes to something you did not expect?

It did one day for me.

When I shared my sadness with a few close friends at work that my 24 year marriage was ending, I was not surprised by their genuine concern. What followed did take me back. Several people took me aside that same day to tell me their private moments of sorrow. I thought; did confessing my sadness make it acceptable for others to do the same? Was it now “safe” for them to go public with their own grief? Why did sharing my grief lead others to share theirs?

I’m reminded of a video I saw last year. Someone recorded a group of people enjoying a beautiful, sunny day in a park. Suddenly, a man stood up and with no music playing, started to dance. He was uninhibited with his arms waving in the air above his head, freely jumping and moving his body in one spot. Dozens looked on with laughter and disbelief. After a few moments, he was joined by another gentleman. The first man welcomed his new friend into his world of freedom and expression.

Another moment went by and a woman became part of this serendipity moment. Before long, others joined until there were 3 dozen strangers clustered around the first man doing this “happy dance”. In the end, only a few sat quietly and watched.

The 1st man led others out of their perceptions of acceptable park-like behavior. People experienced another view of truth and freedom.

In the same way, do public figures lead us out of our perceptions of acceptable grief-like behavior? Do we experience another view of truth and freedom? 

As we asked earlier, what do we learn from outward expressions of grief? Could it be that it is necessary for people to share their grief because truth is, it relieves them of carrying their pain alone? And are we there in their last moments of need and life because truth is, it’s our duty to be of service for others during their time of helplessness and maybe hopelessness? And truth is; are we being taught so we can teach if it’s our turn to deal with and share our own sorrow and grief with others?

From these questions, are we reminded that publicly displaying sadness, pain and grief quietly offers all of us benefits? Instead of being alone, frightened, helpless there is community, faith, freedom? And if that’s the question, then the answer must be; the truth does set us free!

Fear knocks at the door…faith opens the door. Nothing is there! Except people who will listen, support, care and learn!

                                ________________________________________________________________________

Tony Falzano is an author, college professor and an award winning songwriter who speaks on the enormous health benefits that music has to offer. His articles on the power in music to heal can be found in all the major grief magazines and websites.

In addition, Tony has just released his new music CD, "Just a Touch Away". Along with his first album, "In Abba’s Arms", his music has reached the souls of many grieving a loss. Both CDs contain beautifully orchestrated, instrumental music designed to be a companion to those searching for healing and hope.

"Just a Touch Away" and “In Abba’s Arms" are available through www.cdbaby.com. Tony can be reached at, tonyfalzano@AOL.com.

PRINT ARTICLE

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the letters you see in the image.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

The Crazies

Reverend Dick Gilbert is a grief specialist and he shares a story about his personal experience with grief and how it can make you think you are crazy. Dick will assure you that you are not. Grief ...

Winter’s End

The more I have learned about grief, the more it has struck me that in many ways it is not unlike our weather. Those of us who are are grieving often wonder: When will this end? When will I be bet...

Understanding Your Feelings Beyond Tomorrow

Sherry Williams, Grief Specialist, provides insight into the many feelings and reactions to grief. She shares simple and easy coping strategies that will help you can gain a sense of control in you...

Time

Deb Kosmer writer, nurse and grief specialist, shares information about how grief seems to put us in a time warp. She explains that when love dies - time stops. It does not take long for us to real...

The Power Within

Paul Alexander, songwriter and grief counselor, explains that grief is a process. There is freedom in acknowledging the need to go with the flow of what seems like a tidal wave. The only way throug...

A Carrot, An Egg and Some Coffee Beans

“What would you like to do with your grief?” she asked, tenderly. “You may become weakened by it, you may become hardened by it, or you may allow it to change you in a way that equips you to change...

Drawing on Experience

Dr. Sandra Graves leads you through an experiencial exercise that helps you understand the function of the emotions that accompany grief.  By understanding that these emotions have a purpose, ...

Do You Ever Get Over It?

Brenda Layman tackles the age old question of grievers, "Do you ever get over it?" As she candidly explains that you don't get over it, you learn how to live through it, you learn to find hope in w...

Behind Locked Doors

Since the death of your loved one, it is normal to be forgetful and unable to sleep. It is easy to lose things and not so easy to find them. Ginger Ingram shares stories of the humor we can fi...

Anger

Brenda Layman takes a unique look at anger as she explains how it is more comfortable than sorrow. She goes on to say that, while we are angry, we can focus our thoughts on an enemy, rather th...