Tears are healing, or so I have been told. Personally I have always had difficulty crying – the feelings and emotions stay locked in my heart – or form a lump in my throat that refuses to be dislodged. Even through the trauma of watching flames lick the treetops and erupt in giant fireballs that threatened life in all forms the tears stayed frozen. “Big girls don’t cry” was an often repeated mantra during my childhood. Perhaps that is why I cannot cry. I wish I could. Somehow I live vicariously and feel pain released when I sit with people who weep. I wonder sometimes if they think me heartless as I sit dry-eyed. I can assure you that I do indeed grieve. I grieve for people who have lost so much to the wildfires that decimated sections of town in Fort Mac. I grieve for the children and adults who have been so traumatized by the fire. I grieve for all who have had their lives turned upside down and inside out and feel lost and alone. And I think, “let the tears flow; let them water the scorched earth; let them drench the parched soul; let them soak the dry grass; and let them heal all the hurt your heart holds”.

People have often commented on what they perceive to be my strength. “I am not strong,” I tell them. Dry eyes do not mean I am strong – they mean I am disabled or unable to cry. Tears do not mean a person is weak. Conversely they are the sign that a person is strong enough within themselves to allow vulnerability; strong enough to show their humanity; strong enough to heal. So let the tears flow, if you can, and know they are healing all the hurts and releasing all the pain – that is true strength.

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