I don't remember the last time I cried from a physical injury.
That's not to say I'm tough or anything. I have let out a string of expletives when bumping a shin or a little toe. But crying from hurting? It's been a while.
On the other hand, emotional hurt... you can feel that like cold steel straight through your heart. That makes me cry. And I don't try and stop it. I don't suck it up. I just let it out.
A few years ago, back in 1999 to be exact, I bought a present for my brother, a puppy. It had been the purchase made on the spur of the moment, seeing a cute puppy in a pet shop.
I shouldn't have. He was still living at my parents place at the time, and I should have checked first with them.
We had had the dog at my place for a couple of days before I broke the news to my parents, they were overseas at the time. They weren't very happy about it when they found out. They pointed out that they'd end up being the ones looking after it. Now I had a puppy I had to return to the pet shop.
My kids wanted to keep it, as you'd expect. The four kids were between the ages of 12 months and 6 and a half years.
The 6.5 year old wanted us to keep that dog so bad, but I knew we couldn't. And it broke his heart. And he cried.
His mother told him big boys don't cry. But I had a differing opinion. I was proud of the fact that my son had made a connection with the animal. That he grew attached. There was love... empathy. He needed to cry. To embrace the grief. And come to terms with it. And we could talk about his feelings.
I wanted him to be able to express himself. Not hide it away or bury it.
As young boys grow into adult men, putting a cork on emotions doesn't show how strong you are, it only creates a volatile situation. The pressure builds up. It'll either blow that cork off or the bottle will crack, or even explode, under pressure.
You can't deal with grief if you run away from it.
Keep in mind that I'm not a trained psychologist and that's my unprofessional opinion. But here's a great article on Eight benefits of crying: Why it's good to shed a few tears.