“What?” I asked, apprehensive.
“Riley has lung cancer and it’s really serious.” Chills ran over my body as I clutch the kitchen sink to steady my weakening knees. Tears sting my eyes and roll down my cheeks before the news is even confirmed.
Filled with fear, moments later, I make the call. It is confirmed. My friend is going to die. Huge sobs rip through me even as I deny its truth. It can’t be. She’s too young! She’s never smoked. Why her? The questions keep coming without answers as the tears continue to flow. .......
It’s been said that when you see tears in someone’s eyes, their heart has been moved. Well, that day my heart was moved at the injustice, intermingled with anger, fear, and despair.
One evening my family watched a movie that dealt with cancer. A young girl, age 18, was dying from this disease. About mid-way through the movie, my son-in-law looked at my daughter, and noted she, like me, was weeping. Good naturedly, he said, “You better get the tissue box and set it between you.” We both wept through the rest of the movie, while my son-in-law just shook his head in wonder.
Why is it considered odd, humorous, or even ridiculous when emotions well up and take over allowing our to emotions turn to tears? Songs, books, movies, even some well put together commercials (like Hallmark) have been known to set my tears in motion.
It makes perfect sense to me if I cry at a sad song, book, movie or TV show. If I am so moved with emotions that tears flow, the author has done his job well! His purpose for writing was to conjure up memories or feelings that as an audience I could relate. What good would writing be if it didn’t evoke emotion? When we laugh at a sit-com, it seems perfectly normal. When we get angry at sports events and scream with frustration at the television or the players if it’s live, that seems perfectly normal. What is abnormal about feeling sadness and crying? These are the things that make us human. Our feelings are often the driving force in our lives. Many decisions are made on feelings alone. Some call it “gut feelings.” Often these “gut feelings” are right and no one thinks that’s totally weird. Why is crying?
When my son, while in the Marine Corps, called to inform us he was being deployed, I experienced fear, pride and a sense of loss and separation all at the same time since he would be traveling so far away. Tears rolled like a water fall. When my daughter graduated from high school, I again, cried. Her graduation symbolized the end of an era. She would no longer need me as she had before.
Other events in my life have caused my tears to fall. Weddings and the birth of a child can bring joyous tears, bringing challenges which are sometimes equated with fear intermingled with excitement.
Death, however, seems so cruel. It is the end as we know it, as mortals. Even knowing our loved ones will be in a better place when they leave this earth, the pain of loss is great. Somehow we feel cheated of time spent together and angry because we aren’t ready to let go and be separated by something so permanent.
Jesus wept when he learned of his friend, Lazarus’ death. Are we any different? We were created as humans to feel with great emotion. Those who choose to laugh at such emotion choose to not let their hearts be touched. That’s sad really. They have no idea how much they really miss.