Why Did Those Tears Come?


Three years and three months into widowhood, I was sailing along. I had learned not to look back, but to look forward or up. I was really getting a grip on who I am now. I am a different person now than when I was married. Who can remain the same as a widow as you were as a wife?
I had cleaned my husband’s man cave out some time ago; however, I have recently been redecorating it to be pleasing to my eyes, instead of a man’s eyes. I also have developed my own routines now. I felt I had moved on with my husband always in my mind and heart minus all the grief.
I was totally unprepared to be knocked off of my feet like I was last week. As I scrolled through my Facebook, I looked at a picture of several couples from my church that had a fun night of fellowship. It immediately hit me that my hubby and I were not in that picture and that we never will be again. “Wow. I didn’t think I’d ever feel like this anymore,” I thought.
Someone whom I really respect reminded me that there are many losses we need to grieve when we lose someone. I had grieved the loss of my other half, a large part of my identity. I had grieved the loss of my best friend, my carpenter, plumber, and my all around handy- man. I had grieved my decision maker and my person to vent to. Of course I had lost my one to love and the one who returned that love.
Evidently, there was one loss I had not stared in the face yet. I had already started fellowshipping with mixed groups and sometimes with singles, and I was fine with that. But I had not really grieved the loss of no longer having fellowship as a couple. I had been saddened by the thought of it, but it had not become so blatantly clear to me as in that picture.
I am thankful that the Lord always lovingly picks me up when I fall. He never grows weary of my tears. In fact, Psalm 56:8 says, “… put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”
With this hurdle behind me I plan on smooth sailing from now on, that is, until something else blindsides me!

Tears


Anyone who has gone through a loss in his or her life knows what it’s like to shed many tears.  I have to admit that with the loss of my husband, I fought more times to hold those tears in than I did with any other loss that I had gone through. Yet, I would tell others how our tears help cleanse our wounds so we could heal.

A good friend of mine asked me why I did not like to cry. My answer was that I supposed it was because it feels so bad. When I would cry, it often would last over an hour and it felt awful. To that she replied, “Well, God gave us those tears so don’t you think you are saying that you do not like something that God gave us. Isn’t it almost rebelling to fight it so much?”  That gave me food for thought. I realized that she did have a point. If God gives us those tears, He has a reason for them and I should accept them as a part of my grieving process.

A couple weeks ago I heard a man say that our tears “honor our loved ones.” I never thought about it that way before, but I do agree with him. Hearing that has helped me to not be so embarrassed to shed a few of those tears around others.

With those thoughts in mind I decided to take a further “look” at our tears and crying. There are several places in the Bible where they are mentioned.  I googled “tears in the Bible” and found many verses. Tears were mentioned as being shed over many things besides the loss of a loved one. Hannah wept before God because she wanted a child, Esau wept over Isaac. In the Psalms we find King David speaking of his tears. Jeremiah was called the “weeping” prophet.  There are many recorded incidences where tears were shed for sins and disappointment.

A friend sits behind me in church used to pat me on the shoulder and say, “God keeps all your tears in a bottle, Kathy. Isn’t that special?”  Psalm 56:8 says the following; “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” If God knows how many hairs there are on our heads and if He knows when a sparrow falls, He most certainly knows how many tears we have shed. That is a precious thought to me.

In Genesis 23:2 “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.”

In John 11:35 we find that Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus.

In Luke 19:41-44 we read Jesus wept. As Jesus traveled to Jerusalem after His triumphal entry, “he broke into loud weeping.” Klaioo is the Greek word used for this weeping and it means to weep audibly, to burst into tears.

I attended a thirteen week seminar called Grief Share. During one of the sessions this question was asked. “What purpose or value, if any, does crying have in recovery from loss?” was asked. The answer stated that crying can represent a physical demonstration of emotional energy attached to a reminder of someone.

When studying about tears, I found that tears really do get rid of toxins in our body. When we keep our emotions inside of us and do not release them, it makes us feel worse. The emotions become suppressed and can cause depression. For me it would cause such a build- up of emotions that I felt deep turmoil. It was only after I allowed myself to cry or sometimes willed myself to cry that I would get relief. I have learned that the reason I felt better after releasing those tears is because crying releases endorphins. These are hormones that act as a mood elevator. Each time I wept I was releasing these hormones and elevating my mood.

I’m sure some of you readers also have struggled with your tears. I can reassure you that God did intend for us to shed our tears and they really do help us heal. I also know that as you allow yourselves to cry, (and by doing so honor your loved ones), you will one day realize that your tears are coming less often and with less intensity. We are all different and grief does not come with an expiration date. Allow yourselves to be YOU and give yourself all the time you need. It does not matter if it has been only six months or two years. Release those tears when they come.

May God bless you. Remember, there will come a day when God wipes all our tears away. Revelations 21:4 “And God shall wipe all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying.” Praise His Holy Name!