The topic of weeping, particularly in public (see Saturday’s post) yielded a bounty of responses. Thank you all for writing. You opened me to weeping beyond personal fear and sadness — to those of (for lack of better terms) universal grief, spiritual opening, and spontaneous heart connection.*
I can think of two circumstances that invariable bring me to tears — tears I have no wish to suppress or hide; tears whose source or cause is mysterious. Give me a solemn event anytime: anything to do with laying of wreaths at a war memorial, burial at sea, or flag-draped coffins. Another certainty is holy communion (in Roman Catholic but, surprisingly, not in Anglican churches), when tears arise as I approach the altar and turn to weeping as the bread and wine enter my body. What’s that about?
Working in end-of-life care has opened me to new ways of weeping — not from personal loss but from an opening of the heart in the presence of someone at their most vulnerable. Similarly, when offering support to people tackling personal loss, I’m able to enter their private space with ease, able to share (and even initiate) tears in lieu of words that cannot be spoken.
“The way to peace is to cry a cornucopia of tears.”
Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1981), Indian mystic.
* See article on transformative weeping, described as “signs not of disintegration, but of integration of the psyche and expanded awareness of the deeper and universal realities of human existence.” image: thewe.cc.