I have developed an intimacy with tears over the past few years. I no longer wipe them away or hide them from others. Unless they are hindering me, I simply let them roll down my cheeks often practically unnoticed. Many a day I have sat doing something while my emotions trickle from my eyes. I have embraced their salty taste and warmth. I need their release. I am not one to stifle my emotions. I don’t think I could if I tried. Tears are a gift.
Despite this, I still find there are times I need to remind myself of this. Just yesterday, I sat crying as I thought about losing my son. I wept, not loudly, but audibly. My breath caught in jagged heaves and the pressure in my face increased. Workers were in the next room rebuilding a home that now contains a shattered family, and I tried to hold the tears back. I thought, “I have to pull it together and act normal.” Normal? This is normal. Pain is normal; tears are normal; grief is normal. The only normal thing about this week is my tears.
We must become a people who are alright with tears: tears in ourselves and tears in others.