My son had some bad news last week. He is, like many men, a little quieter with his thoughts and feelings than, say, many women are.
He tried to hold it in and deal with the weight alone. And then he trusted me. He had to, he burst. And for the first time in a long time, I held tight onto his shoulders, let his head curl in and just held on to him as he wept. When my daughters have cried, I’ve allowed some tears and then I’ve soothed with words “Let it out”, “Its good to cry”, “Cry it away”. But for my son, I had to read between the lines. He had held onto his bad news and tried to make sense of it himself. Only when he couldn’t hold it had he shared it. A much more private response. So I said absolutely nothing. I just held on to him. Stroked his hair. Let it be. Let it happen.
Later I thanked him for trusting me and I did share from my own pot of memories. I don’t know why men and women approach things slightly differently and I do wish that, in general, people would not expect that sharing comes easily. It doesn’t. It’s complex. I’m learning.
The only suggestion I have here is that when you are 5 foot 5 and your son is 6 foot something, its best to hug them on the couch so you can support them properly. I hope his grey sky soon turns back to blue, and in the meantime, it was lovely to be leant on again.
The room above the garage
A Moodscope member.