Day 984: Tears are welcome

There are several ways I communicate to people in therapy that their tears are welcome:

  •  I make sure there are boxes of tissues within reach.
  • I say “All your feelings are welcome here.”
  • I explain the science that supports the thesis that tears are good for you (and better than bottling sadness up inside).

I think this acceptance of tears gets through. Every week, in individual and group therapy, I see people crying in the presence of others. To me, they seem to heal with each tear that’s shed, witnessed, and supported.

Yesterday, I shed tears — and felt healed — when I listened to songs about our shared mortality, from Sting’s The Last Ship:

Here are some photos from yesterday, which I hope are healing:

This post is dedicated to all those who have shed tears on September 11 (or any other day of the year). May you continue to heal, in peace.

Categories: in memoriam, personal growth | Tags: , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Day 984: Tears are welcome

  1. They are lucky to have you.

  2. Beautiful. I love your list of helpful phrases! My fave is “The pain of a loss is directly related to the importance of the connection.” Tears ARE welcome. BLESS YOU.

  3. Tears are the words the heart can’t speak.

  4. Hearts are broken everywhere. 💔 Tears are like liquid hugs to me. Thanks, Ann.

  5. May healing tears become joyous tears and wash our eyes so we may see with our hearts all the goodness and greatness within ourselves and others, and the miracles all around us.

  6. For those who grew up being told things like “boys don’t cry” it’s very powerful and very important to be told that tears are welcome. Thank you for providing that kind of safety and assurance.

  7. Lovely dedication.

  8. Ann,
    We all shed tears for those lost that day. They and their families will always be remembered. But, I believe their is joy found immersed in such sadness. Joy in an often absent humanity that took a day off from self indulgence that September morning when emergency responders and civilians of all walks of life through their courage and self sacrifice for others in danger restored belief in our greatest gift other than life itself; love. Love that is worth giving up one’s life for.
    -Alan

  9. You are exactly where you need to be, Ann. Here. Shana tova.

  10. i really loved this post, Ann. 9-11 is such a sobering day. I didn’t experience any direct loss, but we all lost a lot that day. How lovely to remember that pain and sadness in this way. I loved your list of phrases and I think I’m going to make a copy of it and put it right where I can see it every day! I do love Sting, and “The Last Ship.” Beautiful post!

  11. When we finished our work together, one client of mine said that for two years she had done nothing but cry, and I had said nothing. Had I spoken she would never have come back. We both knew she was exaggerating, but the point was made

  12. Indeed, Ann. Me, too.

  13. I’ve shed tears on momentous occasions such as 9-11 and for lesser reasons. Such as intergenerational commercials. I don’t know why. When the tears come abruptly and I’m in public, it’s not an emotion I’m comfortable with.

    But you say it’s healing and I’ll go with that. Thank you, Ann. 😉

  14. Thanks for this list Ann, it made me think so much.

  15. Pingback: Day 995: You remind me of _________ | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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