Wail It Like You Mean It

The photos above document my blogging free week last week. It was good to get away from the computer and get out and about and just look at things.

And just breathe.

I realised last week that I have been carrying around a lot of grief.

Grief about my family situation. Grief for those I’ve lost. Grief over failed expectations.

All that grief – it ain’t healthy. Not dealing with it seems to be contributing to my continuous battle with depression.

I need to – needed to – grieve properly. That raging, almost uncontrolled kind of grief where you cry so much that your nose runs right into your mouth and you look like an impudent four year old throwing a tantrum because you didn’t get the last cookie.

It’s healing to cry like that. I am now a true convert to the benefits of wailing. As loud as possible if the situation permits. When you wail it is as if something deep within your guts is released. Set free. That knot that has been pushing on your large intestine just disappears. There is also the added benefit of scaring your neighbours who you don’t like. There is something empowering about seeing the fear in their eyes as you both check your mail at the same time. I got a letter in a blue envelope, you say. They swallow nervously, not sure if you are a simpleton or a psycho. Not keen to wait around they take the stairs  three at a time and double lock the front door.

Aaah. The benefits of wailing. I should have taken it up long ago. It definitely is good for the soul.

And when it’s all over there is the most beautiful, glistening, new stars shining, dream making, inner greening, lustrous silence.

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24 thoughts on “Wail It Like You Mean It

  1. I think wailing has quite a long history–and I believe you offer excellent advice for properly dealing with grief.

    Thanks for sharing the photos and I hope you have a great week Selma.

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  2. Welcome back!
    Sometimes we do need to take a step back and breathe. Easier said than done, I know, but I do believe that we all have a safety valve built into our personality – one that informs us that it is time to take a step back and rid ourselves of some of the stress and tension that inhabits our lives. Too many people ignore that warning, and end up going postal, so I am glad that you did step back and have come back feeling refreshed.
    Oh, and I really enjoyed the blue envelope line! I must try that myself sometimes!

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  3. Wonderful post (and pictures). I think it’s because I somehow read the ‘relief’ behind your words. I on the other hand haven’t had a good wail in a long time. Maybe it’s time.

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  4. I do have good wails and hey do have a cathartic effect. But that’s only when I’ve had too much and can’t stand it any longer.
    Though I try to avoid others seeing me, sometimes I just can’t help it and loved ones happen to witness some of it. They get truly scared about my sanity, I tell you.

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  5. Great to see ya Selma! Welcome back! I take those breaks from the comp all the time, although I never posted on a reg basis anyway! Our own personal wailing wall to let out the anger, grief and stress would be a good thing to have to release all that negativity and return, refreshed, hollowed out and ready to face the day!….heehee wouldn’t your own personal wailing wall in your backyard be just the thing to keep the freaks in the neighboorhood at bay?? lol

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  6. Crying can be so healing, I agree. It’s all about balance isn’t it? finding it can be hard but I think it’s a big part of a happy life. I am SO glad you are back with us Sel and I love the photos you share here. We all need to ditch the world of cyberspace at times and get out in the natural world. You look so pretty in the pic above!

    Hugs friend, G 🙂

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  7. Love your spring time photos! Glad you got your wailing time in. Sorry you’re having to deal with so many things. Also sorry I hardly get time to pass by and read your blog. I really don’t know where all of my time disappears to.

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  8. Allowing yourself to feel is a beautiful thing – too often we hide from it. I’m so happy you had a good wail session, and your pictures are a tribute to the shining star that you are! =)

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  9. Hi HEATHER:
    As long as no one alerts the men in white coats a wail is a very good thing. I feel so much better!

    Hi SLAMDUNK:
    I think it is quite closely related to keening which a lot of people, particularly in Eastern European cultures, do. It does seem to be very cathartic. Hope you have a wonderful week too!

    Hi MANOJ:
    My son has taught me the joy and impact of random commentary. It is very funny to mention something that is unrelated to the topic at hand. And also, how often do you see blue envelopes these days? That fact alone is worth a random comment!

    Hi MELEAH:
    You’ve just got to let it out, haven’t you? Otherwise the build up becomes too hard to deal with. I hope you are starting to feel better. Be well XX

    Hi JENNIFER:
    I do feel relieved. And with that comes a sense of peace. You are incredibly astute. Just one of the reasons I love you!!

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  10. Hi SHIONA:
    I know what you mean. People tend to fear displays of emotion like that. If they only understood the benefits they would say: ‘Go for it. Let it all out!’ It is just amazing!

    Hi CATHY:
    I love the idea of my own wailing wall. That would be so awesome. I’d be out there all the time wailing away. The thought of it really tickles me!

    Hi GERALDINE:
    I have a friend whose husband died a couple of years back and she couldn’t cry. The grief was so pent up she became very ill and had a breakdown. Therapy gave her one thing – the ability to cry. It is so healing. I’m so glad you liked my pics!

    Hi LAURI:
    There is no need to apologise. You are working very hard at the moment. I like to think of you in your new study, writing away. It keeps me motivated – so don’t stop. It is great to see you whenever you can make it 😀

    Hi AINE:
    Awww. Well you’ve got a bit of a shining star thing going on yourself. It was so nice to take all those pics. There are so many beautiful flowers in bloom. The colours give me so much joy!

    Hi KATE:
    I do love it. I never used to and just bottled all this stuff up. I was afraid of sounding unrestrained. But now I’m all : ‘Just let it all hang out!’ 😆

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  11. Yes, Selma. I used to wonder at the wailing of women in the Middle East and wondered it it was for show, being so controlled myself, but now although some might be for the cameras, I am much more likely join in with a bit of crying myself, sometimes at inconvenient times. But like you I find it gets out and the in between times are joyful.
    Thanks for the support too. Your comments are really important to me.
    Plays have always been where have done most writing, mainly musicals. Blogging takes so much time, I too need to ration it or I do nothing much else!

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  12. Big hug ((((((((Selma))))))))) – nothing better than a good wail. I wish our society was more leaning towards that way of being – our funerals and memorials are so straitlaced – we should have days of mourning and celebration of the person’s life – at least lots of scotch 🙂

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  13. as a youngster i often heard “crying doesnt solve anything”
    as if everything has to have an immediate utilitarian reason for being,
    but in fact it does seem to dis-solve everything, look at this one

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  14. Hi STAFFORD:
    I know what you mean about blogging. It can be very time-consuming. I think you have a talent for playwriting. I have written two plays, both of which were published by small presses and performed. One of them had a season of 3 months. Both plays are long out of print. That was nearly 20 years ago now. I originally wanted to be a playwright but sort of lost my way. My favourite playwright of all time is Tennessee Williams. What a genius. Now that I have told you my early life story, I’ll stop. Haha. I do go on a bit. I am really glad you are writing your plays. I look forward to more.

    Hi GABRIELLE:
    Oh, I so agree with you. Bottling it up and acting all prim and proper does no one any good. We should have days of mourning. It’s not morose, it’s healthy. But I’ll substitute the scotch for vodka, if that’s OK, scotch makes me queasy. Have you ever seen the funerals they have in New Orleans? They are so awesome. A real celebration. That’s how I want to go. For sure.

    Hi DAOINE:
    It is good to be back. The break cleared my head!

    Hi SQUIRREL:
    It comes easier than you think. The first wail is the hardest but after that it is like a crescendo. Let it out. I guarantee you’ll feel better XX

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  15. Hi TIPOTA:
    I was so moved by ‘Yesterday I cried.’ It is so true. Crying for the world, crying for ourselves. What an incredible piece of writing. Thanks so much for the link. It does seem to ‘dissolve’ everything. Put with your usual intelligence and wit.

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  16. My mom died almost 9 years ago. Fell to her death. I lived in Manhattan, she lived in a borough. I wasn’t supposed to grieve. “Think of all the young people who died.” I thought about them. I didn’t know if I was mourning buildings or friends of friends (everybody I knew survived). I spent months dreaming about people falling from the Towers with my mother’s face superimposed over their bodies
    It would have been so good if one person gave me permission to wail. But even therapists–and I’m one by training and profession–were screwed up.
    I’m better of course. time and finding an audience to wail to through words helped
    So wail!!!!! And I love your blog

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  17. Oh, glorious wailing! How often we are urged to remain stoic through our pain, until that moment when we can no longer contain it without sustaining damage…

    Wailing is healthy (even if it does frighten the neighbors). I’m glad you took your golden opportunity and made it loud. (and I’m still laughing at the “blue envelope” bit).

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  18. My blogging breaks are enforced….by my ISP when they have a cable cut near my apartment like for the 6 day break I had recently. Otherwise I never feel like taking a break. What other ‘life’ would I have?

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  19. Hi PIA:
    I am so sorry to hear about your Mum. To think of you all that time having those terrible dreams just makes me so sad. It’s true that often we feel we need permission to wail. I don’t know why we do but it does seem to be the case. It’s as if we are worried people will think badly of us for doing it. I am so moved by your story and very much honoured that you shared it here. Thank you.

    Hi KAREN:
    Stoicism is for the birds or those old Greek or Roman gods. I mean, really. I don’t want to be a martyr at all. I am a big fan of letting it all out. It really is incredibly healing. And you know me – I like to frighten the neighbours at any opportunity!

    Hi ROSHAN:
    You sound like you have a pretty good life. Lots of friends and good times. I do miss your posts when you are on a break, though!

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