The Will Not to Cry

Tears are healing they say for the soul. I’ve read it many times that allowing yourself to cry releases the pain you hold onto during times of grief and pain. I believe, through experience, that this is true. During my journey I have come to understand the importance of allowing yourself to cry when  your body tells you it’s time.

So much is distilled in our tears, not the least of which is wisdom in living life. From my own tears, I have found, when  you follow your tears, you find your heart. – Ken Gire

In reading Susan Duke’s book Grieving Forward – Embracing Life Beyond Loss she speaks about tears and how in her own life after the death of her son it took her about six months before she could will herself not to cry. I think that timing is probably different for many, but I think for me it was about three months. Perhaps through my previous experience of loss I was able to “deal” with it better. I am not sure, but it also was at the holidays – where I cried endlessly for days and nights. I think at some point I was spent.

Through my many readings on grief, I came to understand the importance of crying and how if you hold it in for too long, it can cause many physical and emotional symptoms. I used to call it “the lump in my throat” – seemed like it lasted forever. Now after five years, I can manage my tears well. I have control over when I let it go and when I keep it in. I also understand that it takes constant viligence to keep things in check. It doesn’t come natural and if anyone thinks it gets easier – it does not. You just learn to manage it better.

Duke says “Deep sorrow requires release”. She goes onto explain that unexpressed grief can become a “powder keg” of emotion. And that tears are part of our immune system and if not released, can bring about harmful effects both emotionally and physically. One of my most favorite quotes from  her book is:

“Let your tears flow, for they are the silent voice of  your heart.”  (Duke)

So if you need to cry – cry. Don’t be afraid of your tears. Find the time to give  yourself a break and release the pain and sorrow that resides in your heart. It is crucial to your healing to continue the journey, to not get stuck because you are afraid to speak your child’s name or to tell their story, or to just reminisce about them. It’s ok. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.

until next time


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