"There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness but of power. They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love." - Washington Irving
|Après la Faute - Jean Bèraud, c.1885, oil on canvas|
National Gallery, London
My heart is not smiling today. In fact, it's aching terribly for a dear friend who suffered a great loss yesterday. To pretend otherwise would be dishonest and disloyal. And yet I want to share my thoughts. I hope you understand.
To know that a friend is grieving is difficult enough, but when distance separates us at a time like this, it's wrenching. The truth of it is that there is not much one can really do but offer a warm hug, an arm around a shoulder, or a look of understanding, but we want to be there all the same.
Compassion rises up in us at times like this and we long to gather together to protect those that are hurting and DO something. If we were together--my friend and I, and all our mutual friends--we would cook. We would cook a lot of great, hot, comforting food. We would then gather at a huge table to break bread and raise a toast to the departed. We'd reminisce, and laugh and sing and dance...and cry. Together.
Some of us gathered virtually last night to do just that. It was impromptu, and loving, and even fun. We drank martinis and wine, and toasted life, toasted our friendships, and toasted the dearly departed. Knowing that our friend was with family during this time of crisis was comforting, but I was comforted that much more by knowing that some of us had gathered together around our big virtual table to share our grief and our love for one another, too .
I have shed my sacred tears, and expect more to come, because, as Irving said, they are not a mark of weakness. They are the messengers of power...the power of unspeakable love and the power of overwhelming grief. They say we love and feel and hurt. They say we're human.
And though I cannot yet reach out to my dear friend with a warm hug, an arm around a shoulder, or a look of understanding, I know it doesn't really matter. We're together anyway.
"I know that the arms of friendship are long enough to reach from the one end of the world to the other" - Michel de Montaigne
The following music is and excerpt of "Requiem" by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This section is called the "Lacrimosa" which means "Tearful."