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I was at my friend’s mom’s funeral, and I couldn’t help but notice how many people were telling her to be strong. “You have to be strong for your family,” they said. “You need to be strong for your kids.” I wanted to scream at them. Didn’t they realize how much pain she was in? Didn’t they understand that she didn’t want to be strong? She wanted to cry, to mourn the loss of her loved one. But she felt like she couldn’t because she was supposed to be strong.

It’s so frustrating when people tell us we need to be strong after a loved one dies. We’re already dealing with so much pain, and it feels like you’re telling us that our grief doesn’t matter. That we should just put on a brave face and move on. It’s not fair.

It is okay to not be strong all the time. It is okay to let yourself feel the sadness and grief that is ripping through you. You don’t have to be strong for anyone else but yourself. And THAT IS OKAY.

So please, stop telling me people to be strong after the death of a loved one. It’s not helpful, and it’s only making things harder for them.

Stop telling me people to be strong after the death of a loved one. stop telling them they have to be strong for others. You are dismissing their pain. you are telling them others’ needs matter more than their grief.