The Cleansing of Tears

I don’t know about you, but for years I was ashamed of crying, especially around people. I would hold it in and wait until I was alone so that I could let go without anyone seeing me. I felt that crying was weakness, and I didn’t want to be weak in front of anyone.

But as I grew older, tears became more natural, and crying made me feel better. I think some of us are just born to be criers. It finally struck me when I was standing in line to give blood around midnight the day of 9/11. Hundreds of people were in line, too, and many of them were crying; both men and women. Seeing and hearing this let me be free to cry as well.

Often there is no reason for crying except when you feel you just have to; there’s no sin about it. I have cried when I lost my grandmother, later on my grandfather. I have cried when my mother died, and months later, my dad. I have cried over the loss of some of our beloved cats who have passed on, and I have cried with friends who have lost loved ones.

I have cried for people I never knew and never met; for example, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Of course, I never met her personally, but she was a shining example of strength, brains, gentle humor, and, I am sure; plenty of sass.

Over the years, I realize that there is no shame in tears. Tears mean that we care, that we love and that we have good hearts. Tears mean that we are human. So keep a hankie handy and let those tears flow. No harm, no foul.


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