FOR CRYING OUT LOUD: The Tracks Of My Tears

I admit to openly crying at movies and have even been known to cry at a commercial that includes a puppy. But I had no idea that I had so many tears in my body. I have cried so much since my sweet Peter died that I altered my vision and even improved my astigmatism! I have cried so much I could help out the California drought! I had no idea of the sadness that would befall me. I had no hint of the pain that would alter my existence. I had no inkling of the journey I would take in the path of grief. Just when I think I am a little bit better, the waves of sadness hit my brain and send a message to my tear ducts to start spilling.

I decided to do some research on tears. I discovered that there are three different kinds of tears. There are the basal tears that coat your eyes daily to keep them moisturized. The second type of tears humans produce are the reflex tears, aka irritant tears, that form in response to pain, flush foreign objects out of the eye, or respond to scents like onions, and actually have some slight healing qualities. My tears are the last type of tears, the emotional tears that well up in your eyes in response to feelings of sadness, stress, and even joy. I discovered that these tears have more protein-based hormones including the neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin, which is a natural painkiller that is released when we are stressed.

When I have lunch or dinner with friends, the mere mention of Peter releases tears like a water fountain. My friends all hug or hold my hand and it makes us closer in a way that mere conversation could facilitate. I am closer to friends through my tears and my raw emotions. I am beginning to believe that weeping is now a sign of courage, not weakness. If I am to understand that tears are helpful, then I will weep away until I have the ability to make it through a day without tears.

I now have to address the practical portion of weeping. First, I have to tackle the puffy eyes. I have tried many products but now honed in on Benefit's: Puff Off! which reduces swelling under the eyes. I was lucky enough to tattoo eyeliner on my eyes many years ago (man did that hurt) so I don't have to worry about runny eyeliners and black eyes. I recently had eyelash extensions put on and now don't have to worry about mascara. So let the floodgates open and hope the healing begins. I hope to be able to be freely moved to tears, and know that it is good for me, especially since I have the practical measures under control.

As Shakespeare said in Henry VI, Part II, "to weep is to make less the depth of grief."

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