Teddy Cries

So maybe he didn’t cry. But he definitely mourned after some of the crises that disrupted his life. Grieving is an emotion that is considered socially acceptable no matter who you are, under the right circumstances.

On the morning of February 14, 1884, Teddy was summoned to his home to find that his mother had succumbed to typhoid fever and would die shortly. 11 hours later his wife, Alice, was defeated by Bright’s disease, which had attacked her kidneys. This was two days after Alice had given birth to their first daughter, also named Alice.

Teddy was devastated. He had just lost the two most important women in his life, and as part of the grieving process, he ordered other officials to not mention his wife’s name and soon abandoned his political life for a life in the Dakotas as a rancher and Sheriff. For two years he lived there raising cattle and reading and writing history, but little was recorded about how hard he grieved. Speculation suggests he was tormented by the passing of the most important women in his life, and everyone grieves in their own way.

It appears that once he returned to New York to continue political life, he was whole again, but this could have been a repression tactic in order to continue to appear strong to opponents that would have rather him stayed in the Dakotas. Emotions are generally treated with caution in the public light, and are considered unnecessary for masculine leaders, but Roosevelt shows this is not the case. Unnecessarily showing emotion could be regarded as weakness, but grieving for true loss and euphoria for substantial accomplishments should never be kept under control, as they are the strongest emotions that other humans may empathize with, and have the effect of humanizing the wearer more than words spoken ever can. One of the signs of a great leader is that they are able to show emotion at acceptable times, and able to hide other emotions when necessary.