Science of Tears

It’s funny how tears work. Slicing an onion, uncontrollable laughter, loss, anger, joy, happiness, and sorrow all bring tears. Sure, many other emotions and factors cause us to cry as well. Consider this… Is the thing that makes you begin to cry the same reason you continue to cry?

Last night I watched Steel Magnolias for probably the trillionth time. I know it like the back of my hand. Despite this being a newer version, it was still the same movie. Lifetime remade the movie with an all Black cast. Now, anyone who has seen the original knows that Shelby is going to die. However, knowing this was not enough to keep me from crying. The moment Shelby was put on life support, tears began to well up filling my eyes and blurring my vision. By the end of the movie, I was in full cry mode…tears covering my face, eyes red, even a runny nose.

Despite the reason for my tears and the movie coming to and end, I could not seem to stop. It was as if something had taken over me. Suddenly I could feel something begin to swell inside me. I began to cry even more and uncontrollably. It had been a long time since I have had a good cry. I soon realized the reason for these tears had nothing to do with the movie. As if it just happened yesterday, I felt the pain at the loss of my grandmother followed immediately by the pain of losing my grandfather. It has been almost 13 years since I lost my grandfather and a full 7 since my grandmother. Even as I am writing this, tears are skewing my vision.

I am conveniently reminded that they are not here to share in the milestones of my life and walk with me on my journey. No longer will I be blessed with their wisdom, advice, and love. Only my memories to get me through each day and each hurdle. The simplest things are made exponentially more difficult. Who will walk me down the aisle? From a little girl, it was always my grandfather. He promised me he would.

Now I lay here, drowning in a pool of tears. How did I get here? I was fine 2 hours ago. The movie is over. It is my belief that we can hold on to things for only so long. I try to be strong and not let things affect me. At some point, the emotions and feelings buried deep inside come to the surface. They can either explode like a volcano or pour like gentle rain. Crying purges the soul. It relieves us of our grief and pain. It helps us express extremes emotion, both happy and sad. They are necessary to keep us sane. I welcome my tears and I’m grateful for the release they bring me. I feel lighter. Of course I miss my grandparents very much. The pain does not go away. It only eases and become more bearable.

Today’s moral: Embrace the love of today, cry regularly, and laugh often. Sometimes you have to laugh until you cry; others, you may cry until you laugh.

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2 thoughts on “Science of Tears

  1. This happened to me too. I cry once every 2-4 years. The last time I cried was when I saw Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams’ “The Vow.” I started crying about the movie, but then I started crying about other things. Then it went away as quick as it came.

    • I have a love/hate relationship with crying. I hate the way it feels in that moment and the painful emotions it brings to the surface. But I love how I feel after I release it all.

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