“And Jesus wept.”
I went through two times in my life, both relatively short, when I didn’t cry. The first was after my parent’s divorce where the pain, even as a child, seemed too great and I imagined that I was Spock from Star Trek (because he didn’t have emotions) or a robot (for the same reason). So much did I identify with Spock that I practiced, over and over again, raising one eyebrow. You may catch that expression on my face to this day. It worked, for a time, but by trying to avoid pain, I also avoided healing. Eventually, I couldn’t bottle it all up anymore and I had to deal with it. Thankfully, from healthy examples in my life and a support group at St. Polycarp for children of divorced parents, I would learn to embrace or enter into the pain so as to pass through it and find a new beginning. Much later, I would discover this is the pattern of the Paschal Mystery, the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus, which is repeatedly at work in our lives. It is only by bearing our crosses that we can reach new life. It is only by losing our life that we find it. And, it is only in dying that we are born to eternal life. There is no short cut, escape, or avoidance. We may use those to cope for a while, but in the end, they only lead to problems greater than the original pain. No, I couldn’t pretend not to hurt and, for me, that also meant tears—real, healing, and cleansing tears.