I used to apologize for crying. I would say to my husband, Greg, “I : hate to cry” and I meant it. To let my tears flow uncontrolled in front of others was unacceptable. I find most people feel embarrassed. I did.
Crying! Scientifically proven to expel toxic chemicals in your body. From the article “The Health Benefits of Tears”¹ in Psychology Today by Judith Orloff, MD, (July 27, 2010) she states “emotional tears also contain stress hormones which get excreted from the body through crying”. The act of crying relieves stress and chemically changes our body.
In the movie Broadcast News, Holly Hunter played Jane Craig – a female reporter fighting hard to be successful in a male driven industry. To deal with the stress she created a crying habit. Quietly, she sat at her desk alone and removed the 1980’s style phone off the hook. She took a moment to focus, then cry – a whole body sob kind of cry.
It didn’t resonate with me then, but it does now. She was volleying for a place in journalism in a male dominated environment. She could not allow emotion to come out in the conflicts with her co-workers or boss, but she understood the value of releasing the pent up emotion in a controlled, private space.
The last few days have been rough. My grandsons, Sterlyn and Jack, went back home with their guardian grandparents, Tereasa and Keith, after spending 9 days with us in Pennsylvania. I normally don’t cry when the visit ends because I know I will see them soon and their happy faces when they reunited with Bunga and Poppa is beautiful. They are where God placed them and they are thriving. I am grateful.
I have cried off and on since they went home and I believe I know why. I still mourn for my own little boy, the one who grew up and is estranged from me now, the one who chose not to be a father to these sweet boys. I mourn the loss of the ideal family that doesn’t exist.
The mourning process will continue and may be around for the rest of my life. Only God knows how the situation will turn out in the end. I may continue to be sad, however, I find solace in the fact I have a wonderful relationship with my grandsons, their grandparents, and the people who love and support them all.
Solace is also found in knowing God has a plan, and one I don’t need to understand. I do need His help when times like the mourning and crying take over – in these Ecclesiastes moments. There is a time to cry and God will see me through – I am not ashamed.
John 11:35 (NIV)