Washington Irving said, “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.”
Having shed my fair share over the holidays, this quote struck a chord deep in my emotional register. It has always been easy for me to saturate my cheeks with salty tears and I come by it quite honestly. My dad wore his heart on his sleeve and many times that same sleeve was used to wipe his tears as he watched television commercials or movies. When my apple fell from the family tree, it landed right at his feet.
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 were what Crime Scene Investigators would 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 detrimental and have friends, family and co-workers questioning your stability and well-being.
I will never regret being an empathetic person. I love that I can feel so deeply that life, whether mine or someone else’s, can have such an intense impact on me. And although my eyes look remarkably like my mother’s did after a good cry, I will never be ashamed to admit that crying was the cause of their puffiness.