Comfort for the Day

Living through the seasons of grief.



Has your upbringing taught you not to cry?

We say it, but don’t do it.  We encourage each other to do it, but it is so uncomfortable to live it.  At times my talk is cheap?  Sometimes acting on some “ideas” seems too difficult to do.  What am I talking about?  I am talking about tears, those warm salty swells that spill out of our eyes showing the whole world we are feeling.  Albeit, there are at least two kinds of tears; the flood of joy and happiness that we don’t mask nearly as much as the ones of despair and sadness.  Let’s talk about the sad tears for a bit.

I find myself avoiding eye contact when others are tearing up.  Do you?  Why?  If I really believe that tears are good, healing, and therapeutic, why do I look away and discourage the moment?

Some of you might experience something totally different.  You cry very easily and therefore you might find yourself avoiding contact with someone you know who is in pain.  So what are we to do?

A couple of weeks ago I was in conversation with three other individuals.  Two of them heard for the first time that the third party was grieving the death of her husband.  Stunned, the two didn’t even know how to acknowledge the loss our mutual friend was experiencing.  A few hours later I had the opportunity to talk with one of the “two.”  As tears began to make their way of escape down his cheeks, he swallowed, looked down, and I looked the other way.  I didn’t honor his pain, just as he had not honored the pain of our mutual friend earlier.  Why am I such a wimp?  Why am I still afraid of tears, my own as well as another’s?  Why does warm salty fluid trigger such resistance to allowing and honoring the feelings of sadness?

I don’t have very many answers, but maybe if I think out loud with you, we can live out loud more effectively in the future.

  1. Humans are the only ones who can respond emotionally with tears.  This is important to remember so that we honor our uniqueness.

  2. Tears have an antibacterial solution that keeps the eyes from disease.  Which is really useful when you read #3.

  3. The emotional release from stresses through tears washes out physical toxins that have been held in the body.  Stress induced tears would need the above mentioned antibiotic to deal with the toxic waste that leaves the body through the tear duct. Grief ranks highest on the stress chart, so let us keep in mind that our emotional, stress induced tears are vital for our health.                                                                                                                                   “The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.” ~ Henry Maudsley

Sometimes it takes a little review to get us back on track.  I don’t know about you, but I think I will take the risk and cry with the next hurting person whose eyes can’t contain their pain.  In this way our hearts will connect and I will live out loud what I have said out loud.


2 comments on “A FEW GOOD REASONS TO CRY

  1. Cheryl Edwards
    April 22, 2014

    Beautifully said, and I accept that challenge, as well. I am also one to blink away the tears and not let others see my pain, or turn away and avoid other’s pain. Why can’t we be human? Sometimes a good cry is very healing and therapeutic. Good, happy, joyful tears, and cleansing painful tears. And God knows them all. Thank you Lord, and thank you Karen. Keep up the Lord’s work in your life. Love you.

    • Karen Nicola
      April 22, 2014

      Cheryl, your response just adds to what I think the Spirit is doing in the hearts of those who are willing to enter into another’s world of pain.

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