Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Tears are holy.
Tears come when we stand vulnerable before people,
            battered, weary, scared,
            our defenses down.
They come from the flowing of life’s river through us.
They come from pools of water welling up within us.
They come from the Spirit’s ocean moving through us.
They rise with the tides of compassion.
Tears are the pathways our emotions travel.
They are honest and true.

If we listen to our tears, they will tell us what is important.
Washington Irving — “There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief
            ... and unspeakable love.”

If we seldom cry for ourselves,
            we have not let ourselves love deeply enough.
If we do not weep for others,
            our hearts are not connected to people and their suffering.

The residue of our tears are salty with love.

Tears are pure.
Tears are the speaking of our hearts,
            the leanings of our spirits toward each other,
            the yearnings of our bodies that rise from sacred ground.
Tears are acceptance and courage and strength to endure
            when our visions falter.

If you would know who we are,
look past the tears into our eyes
            and find us waiting.


  1. Thank you for this. So beautiful. Ah, those tears. My only brother & sibling has a recurrence of esophageal cancer. I spoke with him Sunday and he was beginning a new therapeutic regime. Seemed hopeful, although I know what "Hail Mary" cancer treatment is like. Today I learned he's in the hospital. I'm in FL since Tuesday and no one remembered to let me know because he's the one who communicates with me. More tears.Tears that I did not know. Tears my brother is suffering. Tears of impatience that I can't hop in the car and drive 8 hours to be at his side, but have to wait for someone to tell me whether to wait until my Sunday plane home or fly directly and immediately to Boston. Don't yet know enough to decide. Tears of helpless waiting...

    1. Thank you, Elaine. Yes, not only tears over what has happened, but also tears of waiting, tears of not knowing what is happening, tears for someone who is suffering and not knowing what will be demanded of them in the near future. I will hold you in my thoughts and heart over the next few days, and breathe compassion your way.