This week I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Dr Malie Coyne. The talk was entitled ‘Seasons of change: Supporting families through loss grief and trauma’. From reading her credentials it was plain to see Dr Malie brings with her a wealth of achievements, qualifications and experience. So it was fair to say that I was beyond excited and counting down the days until the event took place.
On arrival she entered with a glow and by her side her mum and biggest fan Patricia. With a room full of people the talk began. What was being discussed brought back memories and feelings for many. I could almost sense the emotional memories kicking in around the room. Heads nodded some people even took notes each of us trying not to miss one of her famous quotes as she spoke.
“For physical pain there is medicine and for emotional pain it’s about letting someone you know and trust and love know that your hurting”
What struck me the most was how honest and real she was. When we hear a title before an individuals name it can often taint our perception of what to expect but this Dr was different. She had a human approach from start to finish using examples from her own 2 children and how they perceive death and loss and towards the end she spoke about her cousin that tragically died by suicide. What happened next blew me away. Dr Malie began to cry as she spoke about her experiences with her cousin and her death. As this happened what I found beautiful and overwhelming was the silence in the room as she cried and the empathy of others towards how she felt. Not one person judged, not one spoke instead this feeling of ‘its ok not to be ok’ engulfed the room.She was leading by example by sharing her true emotions. Following that others in the audience began to share stories from their lives and cry. It’s one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever witnessed . The sense of relief as people spoke was visible, their shoulders dropped as the person next to them comforted them, one of those comforting was Malie’s mum .
My reason for blogging about this is that no matter what your gender, career, story or experience it is ok to show emotion. Watching how one person helped another that night along with Malie giving advice was special. People show anger, happiness, joy all the time so why can we not show sorrow? What makes that so difficult to share? It’s time for change, crying or showing emotion is not a sign of weakness but rather a testament of strength.Those tears were tears of courage.
Dr Malie I thank you for helping so many people by simply being you x