In Ancient Egypt, wealthy families who were grieving hired professional mourners for the funeral procession. They would yell and wail for the dead person as they proceeded through town.
Ancient Hebrews would tear their garments, beat their chest and sit in a pile of ashes.
Nowadays in Western culture, we grieve in more quiet ways. Crying. Hugging. Putting on black. A loud wail of anguish may be permitted occasionally, if the grief is particularly deep or remarkable.
But I long for more dramatic, loud and messy ways to grieve. (And to grieve this way with people.)
Yelling and screaming at the sky
Blasting heavy metal music
Smashing old plates and glasses
Whacking punching bags with baseball bats
A chorus of loud wails and sobs
Flailing at the air
Reciting poetry loudly
Proclaiming that which has been lost
Our grief, my grief, is so quiet.
I fear that even when presented with such opportunities, I would shrink back, because I have been taught that grief should be held close, compressed, kept quiet.
I yearn for the day when I can express my grief with bombastic noise, because I’m no longer afraid, because I have found a safe place where it can be released.
But for now, I will sob quietly in my room.