Monday Meditation: Sacred Tears

“There is sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

-Washington Irving

This will be a difficult week for many. Supporters may encourage grievers to perk up because it is a holiday week, to be “merry and bright.” There is little merriment or brightness when we miss someone. Celebrations accentuate the absence of loved ones in the sharpest way.

‘Tis the season to miss lost loved ones.

Amidst all the festivities and cheer we must remember that it is normal to shed tears over what we miss: the presence of a loved one at a holiday meal, buying a gift for someone special, getting a hug or a kiss, a laugh. We miss more than just a body, we miss part of what made our celebrations special. That absence cannot be easily filled, if it can be filled at all.

Whether this is the first holiday season or the twentieth without a loved one, it is normal to have an emotional response. It is normal to miss something we cannot have again. No amount of presents, good food, or drink will help erase the absence of a loved one.

Tears are a natural part of the holiday season; they sit alongside joy and wonder this time of year. They are a memorial to absent love, a reminder of a life we shared, and of a unique relationship we cannot replace. They should be shed without fear or worry.

Sit with your sacred tears and know that they are part of an expression of love, one perfectly suited to the holiday season.

If you feel overwhelmed by sadness or have thoughts of harming yourself and/or others, please contact your physician, a therapist, or one of the hotlines below.

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-HELP
  • National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE
  • National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-TALK
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

Published by ancarroll

Alexandra N. Carroll is an author, grief advocate, crafter, mother, and partner. She writes on grief and self-care from her home in Vermont. Her forthcoming book concerns how to untangle life-after-loss through the creation of a strong self-care plan.

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