When I was a little girl, our family had a book about another little girl who cried so much her bed floated out of the house and down the street. While I loved the story, I could not identify with the main character. I rarely cried. In great part because I didn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing they’d hurt me.
Fast forward almost 50 years. I have grown up to be the girl on the bed wet with tears, floating down the street on a river of her own making.
It started with the death of my dad, my saddest life moment. I only cried a little the first few days, then not at all until about 2 weeks after the funeral when the floodgates literally burst.
I’m sure this is part of the natural mourning process. What I’m not certain about is the ongoing torrent of tears. My eyes rain heartrending tears with regularity, yet unpredictability.
Missing my dad, feeling that gaping loss, is at the root of course. I’ve come to believe that loss has become the catalyst that is finally allowing me to release a lifetime of emotion. At middle age plus, let me tell you–that takes a lot of tears!
My husband and boys have been keeping a wider berth than usual. I’m pretty sure they don’t know what to do with me. And I don’t know what to do with myself either except: Let. the. tears. come.
I am weeping for what is lost, what will never be, and for the things I wish were different. It hurts. A lot. But the salty water that streams down my cheeks is also very deeply healing.
The day after my dad died, I found myself wondering what advice he would give now that he’s experienced life from the eternal perspective of heaven. I think he would tell me how the things that often consume me really don’t matter so much, that I’m on the right track of trying to love Jesus well, and to really and truly love other people.
And that stellar advice just doesn’t always align with who I am. So I cry about that too.
It’s all serving a good purpose. Growth and healing are taking place. And I have God’s reassurance that there is plenty of room in his kingdom for tears, even when I cry a river:
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8