Today I have been thinking about tears. I saw a beautiful video about honouring those who fought and died for our country, and I saw a grown man, a soldier, an elder, with tears streaming down his face as the national anthem played. Little droplets fell ran down his cheeks and dropped off of his chin. I wondered if he wanted to move his hand from his heart to wipe them away, to erase the evidence of such emotion. His hand did not move. Perhaps he didn't feel shame. Perhaps the pride and honour overwhelmed any embarrassment.
I have had more than a few moments these past weeks where I have lost everything in a torrent of tears. I've right now is more overwhelming than I've ever experienced to this point. And each time I've locked myself away, alone, to allow the release of the tears in private. Afterwards I've slipped away into a bathroom to splash my face, or I've willed myself to stop so that the redness can fade away, or I've covered the sniffle with a Kleenex and a "cold." I did not want those tears to become public.
Today I sat and thought about the design of crying. When we are overwhelmed with sadness inside, we cry in the outside. We cry on our face - the very place where people look when they connect with us. There is little we can do to stop those tears when they come. They stream down and tell others "she is sad!" Sadness could have been designed to stay internal, but it's not.
In other words, when we are sad, we are designed to communicate that sadness to others. Somehow, it is important for people to know that we are hurting. They are meant to see the wetness of the tears in the moment and even the echo of sadness through the lingering redness in the eyes. Maybe it's hard to hide that we've been crying so that we don't hide it. People can see it and reach out, connect, love. Sadness is not something to tuck away, but a way for love to be extended and communication to flow and connection to increase.
Maybe next time I won't hide away when I cry, and you might see me and be what I need in that moment.