Expressing Emotions: Outward actions not necessarily indicative of feelings

Abby Bamburg, Entertainment Editor

On Feb. 1, 2006, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was in the fourth grade and, of course, it was one of the saddest days of my life.
Every year, I participate in Relay For Life, an event that raises money for all different types of cancer, and I do it for my mom.
Last year during Relay For Life, someone asked me why I wasn’t crying during the Luminaria Ceremony, which honors those who have survived cancer, are fighting cancer or have passed away from cancer. I immediately shrugged because I didn’t know what to say.
I didn’t want to sound insensitive to my mom’s situation or, for that matter, like I don’t care about her.
Now, I’m not trying to say I’m not sad that it happened. But, I am trying to say I’m happy and thankful it’s over.
Because in my mind I love my mom and she is still here with me, I express my sadness differently than others might.
Every year during this ceremony, a lot of people cry and relive those sorrowful memories.
The gym is always filled with emotion and most people think that is one of the best aspects of Relay.
But is it bad I feel awkward the whole time?
Because someone that hasn’t even experienced cancer in their family is crying their eyes out, and I’m perfectly fine?
I then realized emotion can be shown in many different ways.
Happiness can be shown through laughter or being hyper.
Anger can be shown through violence or yelling.
And sadness can be shown through crying or silence.
It’s not that I was perfectly fine, it’s that I wasn’t expressing my emotions out loud.
No, that doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings.
No, that doesn’t mean I should feel judged.
Some people don’t even show their emotion at all. Others hide their emotion by showing a different one to the world.
Yes, crying is the most common expression of sadness.
We say that just because a man cries when something is sad, it doesn’t mean he’s feminine.
In the same way, just because a woman doesn’t cry, it doesn’t mean she is insensitive or not sad at that time.
An important thing to note is whether it’s happiness or sadness, it’s a personal feeling.
No one can make someone feel guilty for being themselves or expressing their emotions in a special way.