The O’Jays Made Me Cry

There are a few things that cause our minds to immediately travel back in time…scents, tastes, and music.

I was in the process of curating a dope Christmas playlist on my Apple Music and had started by creating a station using the O’Jays’ I Can Hardly Wait For Christmas. What I didn’t realize was that the station wouldn’t just play Christmas music, but it’d play all old school tunes. So I was sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to songs and adding them to my playlist as I saw fit. And then a familiar song that I really like came on; Darlin Darlin Baby by the O’Jays. Because I like it, I let it play. Maybe 30 seconds into the song, I began to cry.

This was one of my daddy’s songs. As I sat on the edge of my bed, I could see him bobbing and bopping as he sang along singing to my momma. My daddy loved music, and to this day it is the only thing that brings me to tears in regards to him. I can think about him all day long, and while I miss him and am sad that he’s no longer here, I’m not likely to cry. Play one of his favorite songs though, and I can’t hold back the tears.

I sat and listened to the entire song. I cried. I smiled and laughed at the memory of him dancing and singing along. The O’Jays made me cry…and I welcomed it. It was a good cry. Grief never leaves. It manifests and is triggered at various times and in various ways. I appreciate the way it made an appearance this particular time.

You’re my darlin’, darlin’, baby
You’re my darlin’, darlin’, love
You’re my darlin’, darlin’, baby

 

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Good Grief

I don’t think Charles Shultz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, really knew how true the words “good grief” are when he wrote them as a coined phrase for Charlie Brown. And I guess, when you think about it, the phrase in itself seems oxymoronic. How could anything be good about grief?

Now unless you’re a masochist, most people are uncomfortable with pain. We tend to be especially uncomfortable with the mental/emotional pain of other people. The awkwardness of not knowing what to do when someone breaks down and cries in your presence…do you cry too, hug them? What? Typically, there’s an issue that you probably can’t fix. No one likes to be put in that position. A lot of times, the person not grieving may say or do some real problematic things that they’re not even aware are problematic.

It’s problematic to tell someone hurting to “be strong.” It’s problematic to not allow the griever the opportunity to grieve, even when we think the cause of grief is not warranted.

Which really brings me to something that I had never considered before this morning. I just recently began a devotional on my Bible app dealing with depression (Depression: A Devotional for the Wounded Spirit). Today’s devotion dealt with grief, but this particular paragraph really spoke to me…

“You may be in a situation, however, where what you lost wasn’t necessarily good for you, but there’s still a gnawing hurt and weightiness in your soul…Today you may find yourself torn over whether it’s healthy to grieve the loss of something that was unhealthy. Grieving is a natural process that even the savior of the world engaged in. Don’t block your feelings. Perhaps it’s time to grieve.”

I am, in fact, grieving something that was not healthy for me. For days, I’ve been battling the guilt of even doing so. Why am I so sad…I’m free. This is what I both want and need. It doesn’t matter though…it still hurts. The grieving process is a necessary one, and so many people miss out on being whole because they don’t do it. Faking it until you make it will only work for as long as the pain stays suppressed. The thing is, every time something that comes up to remind you of that situation or that person, you’re faced with the opportunity to feel the pain all over again. Deal with it. Grieve.

In case you’re not familiar with the 7 stages of grief…Image result for stages of grief