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Why It's Okay To Cry When You Say Goodbye

And why it's also perfectly fine if you don't.
PHOTO Warner Bros. Pictures

It's so hard to write about something that is such a personal and unique experience of grief and loss. When you lose someone, something—whether it's your loved one, an actor you've admired for years, or when you have to say goodbye to a group that has saved your life—no one can really tell you exactly how you should do it. And nobody should ever make you feel that the way you choose to grieve isn't "the right way."

Some people don't like to be seen with their feelings out in the open. They can cry in private, when they're curled up into a ball, lights out in their bedroom, where no one can see them. They can weep into their pillow till they forget what they're crying about, till they cry themselves to sleep. They can wake up in the morning and go to school like nothing is wrong. And sometimes, that's all they really need. A good, long cry to release the pain that's eating them up from inside.

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Some people need to share their grief. They need to tell stories over and over again till the words are automatic, till the tears stop falling. Some people cope when they have someone to tell them that everything will be alright, that tomorrow is going to be a better day. Some people can't do it by themselves and that's perfectly fine.

Some people like to express their feelings. In art, with words, with music—whether it's their own or borrowed. They'll muse about their favorite memory, a special moment, or something completely not related at all. And that's okay.

Some people will pretend that they're fine, that they don't need any help but they're just waiting for someone to ask. "Are you okay?" Three simple words that can mean a big deal. So ask. And when they cry or share or express their grief, don't judge them. Because when you find yourself in the same situation someday, you'll want them to do the same for you.

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So go ahead and cry if it will make you feel better. Go ahead and post a tribute for your favorite actor who has passed. Learn to deal with grief from the best person who can teach you how—yourself.

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Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
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