Sometimes the best gift you can give someone is your tears.
When a person is treading the deep waters of grief, their head barely above water, the last thing you think you should do is cry.
It’s easy for you to gift them with meals and sympathy cards, flowers and money.
But you’d never consider gifting them with your tears, for you fear that crying would only cause the waters to grow deeper, more difficult to navigate. You believe your tears will cause additional heartache for the one who is already drowning in them.
But that’s just not true.
Your tears are a gift to those who are hurting. An offering of vulnerability. A display of sympathy in it’s purest form.
Your tears validate their pain, their loss, in a world that has most likely ignored it. Your tears are a permission slip that allows them to trek beyond the land where everyone is expected to be “fine,” and fully explore the land of grief. Your tears exhibit your willingness to carry the burden of another’s loss, a confirmation that their loss matters.
Personally, I will never forget the phone call. The voicemail, really, because I couldn’t bring myself to answer the phone that day my heart was being torn from my chest. It was from a friend, who had called to express her sorrow over my impending loss, and by sobbing uncontrollably, she did just that. While I couldn’t understand most of her words, her message was clear – my broken heart was breaking her heart. Her tears fell in response to the loss of my baby, and I knew that my child and my grief mattered to her. Her tears were a gift I won’t forget.
And more recently, I was reminded of this powerful gift as I sat with a fellow broken woman, catching her tears and giving her mine. And by doing so, she felt understood in a room of people who, through no fault of their own, couldn’t understand her pain.
Tears are sacred. Tears are healing. And when you give them away, you are also giving the gift of respite from a hardened and insensitive world. Your tears provide an element of safety, understanding, and compassion – all of which are needed in a society that tends to overlook those who grieve.
Your tears are a gift, and there are plenty of people who need them. So don’t be afraid to give them away.