I should have known it was coming. I knew at some point it would but I didn’t expect it to happen in the way that it did.
It seems to be that way with tears. They often come unexpectedly, surprising us at times with their sudden appearance as our eyes become clouded and our emotions give way to their lead.
That’s how they came to four of us who stood quietly in conversation reflecting on life.
We had just flown back from several weeks of being gone and were reeling from a flood of emotions left over from our trip. We were tired from travel and sad to say “goodbye” once again to family and lifetime friends.
It was a rainy day and our friends as well, were having an emotional day. We exchanged conversation about a mutual friend who had suddenly died in a tragic accident. Our friends had not attended the funeral. They had buried their adult son in the past two years and it was just too painful to go. Choking back tears, they once again reminisced about what a wonderful son he was and how during his last days he had expressed his love for his parents.
My husband began talking about his dad and the time that they had together staining the deck when we were at their farm in the past couple of weeks. He talked about how that the one thing he and his dad loved doing together is working on projects. Even though his father was hardly able to walk because of arthritis, he could sit on a chair and help stain the deck railing. His dad shared that he couldn’t remember a day he had enjoyed so much in a long time. My husband teared up as he recounted that special moment.
Here was a father and a son each sharing about their love for their son and their father. I looked at the wife and she had tears in her eyes. I couldn’t hide mine, so there we stood, all four of us silent.
Sometimes tears speak louder than words.
In these sort of moments, we understand each other at a level that conversation can’t reach. We wordlessly share the sorrow, grief, sweetness and love that life brings our way. We silently empathize in the deepest places of our emotions.
We don’t always know when the tears will come, but we dare not waste them when they do, for in them we may find the very thing that is needed most of all.