Who Do You Really Cry For?

Updated: Feb 15

In an earlier blog of mine, Loss of A Loved One, I have written about the experience when one becomes familiar with the feeling of losing a person to death. When this happens in your life, you feel a certain emptiness within amongst many other emotions. You feel confused and lost. You feel pain and sorrow, you want to cry all the time and you just want things to stop around you, just for a minute so that you do not have to get back to reality so quickly. You just want a second where you do not have to deal with anything or anyone, where you do not have to deal with the unexpected event and the natural rhythm of life, as well. You just want the time to stop so that you can miss the person who is no longer by your side.

But to be honest with you, losing someone we care for, can happen in other ways, as well. It is not just death that can cause the feeling of heart break in you. When you are going through a break - up, when you are moving to a different country far away from your family; these are experiences, as well that are causing pain, emptiness, feeling of loss in a way within you. Because you are losing that unique, special person from your everyday life. That person, due to distance or due to break – up, will no longer be part of your everyday routine, you will have to change things around so that all fits in the new norm and you will have to accommodate, as well.

Why Do You Cry?

But let’s have a deeper look into it and see what is actually going on when you are crying due to the feeling of missing someone. When the realisation hits you, when the news reaches your consciousness that a precious person in your life lost her / his battle to a certain disease, to old age or to an unexpected accident or when you break up with your girl - boyfriend after years of commitment, when you decide to get a divorce from the mother / father of your children, or when a family member moves to hundreds of kilometres away from you, the first thing you do is cry. Most of the time. But why? Why are you crying?

Losing Someone

Let’s have a look at it through two examples. First is when you come to the understanding that you will no longer be able to see physically that loved person in your life. When you hear the word death or dead, tears start to roll down your eyes because you know things will be different. At first, you think you are crying for her / him. You and everybody else keep saying that how unfortunate that that person is no longer with you, by your side; that she / he will not be able to attend to her / his daughter’s graduation; that there were so many things ahead of her / him, she / he was too young to lose her / his life. But, when you are true to yourself and you look deep within, you realise that all the tears are shed because of your own pain, for your own sorrow, for you. You cry because you feel sorry for yourself. That you will no longer be able touch her / him, you will no longer be able to speak to her / him, you will no longer be able to hear her / his voice. You will have to deal with things now on your own, you will have to figure things out without her / his help, you will have no longer her / him to turn to for advices. You cry for you.

For the argument sake, let’s say that you are not agreeing with me. If it was not true, if you were not crying for you, then what other reason could be behind it? Do you actually cry for that person who lost her / his life? That she / he is now on the “other side”? First, that is happening to her / him and not to you, so again, no reason for you to cry. Second, depending on the culture you are living at and the beliefs you are having, death can be looked at as an experience that worth celebrating. In certain cultures, people dress up in white and celebrate the passing of a loved one rather than cry over it. Because death is not the end, it is part of the process, it is just another big and unknown chapter in life. So again, no reason for you to cry unless it is for you. Because you cannot cry for that person, your loved one found peace, fulfilled her / his purpose in life so it was time for her / him to leave and find new adventures.

Break Ups

The same applies to my second example, when let’s say that you break up with a person. When you see the relationship getting worse and worse, when you realise that you are not happy by her / his side anymore, when you know that you want more and you want different, you make the decision to leave that person, to break up. Even when these thoughts and feelings come up and you admit them to yourself, you cry. But when the actual experience happens and even after, those tears are there within you waiting for you to let them out. And again, you shed those tears because of you. You are not crying because of her / him. You are in tears because that person will no longer be part of your life – most of the times –, you cry because you have invested so many years into her / him and into this relationship and now it is over, you cry because you thought she / he will give you what you want, you cry because now you will be alone for who knows how long, you cry because you will have to go out and look for someone again and go through the dating process again, you cry because you will have to do things on your own now and have your normal, everyday life spent in a different way as it used to be in the last years, you will have to find new routines, you will have to accommodate. You cry for you.


You cry due to two things. One, as described with the help of the above - mentioned examples, is because of you. You feel sorry for yourself. You feel sorry for what happened to you. You do not feel sorry for what happened to the other person, but for you. That you do not have her / him by your side anymore, that your support system is no longer available, that you will have to figure things out on your own now, there is no one now who would do the important and necessary things for you or instead of you.

The other reason for your tears is because you know things will change, all will be different and it is unfamiliar territory, there is the unknown ahead of you. And that is scary. You do not know what will happen now, how things will be, you do not know what can happen and when but when you have to face this reality without your “best friend” by your side, that makes it even scarier, and that is just an extra thing adding to your list you have to face. And no one needs that.

I hope I make you see the truth. I am not saying that it is a bad thing, or that you should not be crying. No, not at all. Let it all out, feel those feeling, have those tears. Scream, shout, break, be alone, do whatever it is necessary for you to experience it. And be with it as long as you need to be with it. I just want you to see the real reason behind it.