“There is a sacredness in tears – they are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief, and of unspeakable love.” ~ Washington Irving
Having shed my fair share of tears in my life, this quote struck a chord deep within my emotional register. It has always been easy for me to saturate my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it honestly. My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched movies, TV shows and even commercials. When my apple fell from the family tree, it landed right at his feet, and I’m sure that made him cry as well.
My mom was very private about her crying, although she didn’t cry frequently. She would gracefully leave the room and gently close her bedroom door. There were never heavy sobs heard from the other side of that door but her swollen, red eyes the next morning are what Crime Scene Investigators refer to as ‘evidence’.
Sometimes being able to cry so easily is a gift, a genuine release of emotion that feels much like a cleansing. But the burden of not being able to control the moments that those tears appear can also be slightly detrimental and result in having my friends, family and co-workers questioning my stability and well-being.
I will never regret being an empathetic person, a cry baby. I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether it be my life or someone else’s, can have such an intense impact on me. And I can take solace in knowing that the people who understand this about me, the people with whom I choose to share those emotional moments, have inevitably shed the same amount of tears with me.