HOPE TO BEREAVED FAMILIES)
& Jerry Mudge
Mallard Park Dr
IS HEALING IN YOUR TEARS~
~ March/April 2003)
A few months
after losing Samuel, I was told by a dear friend not to be embarrassed
by my occasional tears. She'd read tears contained healing chemicals.
That began my two-year search for evidence of this fascinating information.
Later a hospital chaplain loaned me the "Care note" (by Abbey Press) about
tears by Mildred Tengborn, which mentioned an article in Psychology Today,
which I finally located at the library.
It's amazing how
we are created! All tears moisten the eye, protect it from infection
and wash away irritants. Whether caused by chopping onions or saying
farewell to a precious Loved One, all tears would appear to be the same,
but scientists have found emotional tears have special value.
Most people report
that after a good cry they feel better. Scientists have found emotional
tears release chemicals which stress has accumulated in our bodies.
Frey explains our lacrimal gland, which regulates tear secretion, concentrates
manganese, a necessary mineral involved with our moods, and tears remove
this concentrated mineral from our body. The concentration of manganese
is 30 times greater in tears than in blood serum. Emotional tears
contain 24% more protein than irritant (onion slicing) tears.
All tears contain
3 chemicals released by the body during stress. They are:
~ an endorphin believed to modulate pain sensation
2) ACTH ~ a
hormone considered to be the body's most reliable indicator of stress
~ the hormone which regulates milk production in mammals.
Woman tend to
cry more frequently (studies found 4 times more often) than men.
This may be due to the fact that woman have 60% more prolactin than men.
Knowing this let
us be more understanding and realistic about the response of others to
loss. Mom, don't demand your husband use as many tissues as you need.
Dad, it's hard to sit my a person who seems to cry continually, but remember
tears will decrease with healing.
American men have
been taught that tears were a sign of weakness. Instead, they signify
strength. Tears testify of our love. If we didn't love deeply,
we'd not hurt so deeply. Tears originating from love promote healing.
Tears can make
you aware of problems you need to deal with. If you cry excessively
after loss, it's good to ask what activates your tears. Is it anger?
Who or what causes the anger? Is it fear, exhaustion, depression,
helplessness, or guilt that starts you crying. Are you getting adequate
rest? Are you attempting to do more than you're capable of?
Remember: working through grief is the hardest work you'll ever do, so
be realistic about the demands you place upon yourself during grief.
Quite simply, you're not capable of working long hours or producing as
much as you did before adding grief to your daily load. Are you eating
properly, or just snacking on foods, which do not provide your body with
proper nourishment? Maybe junk food sustained your energy levels
before loss but you need a balanced diet to survive working through grief.
Is part of your depression caused by seclusion? Finding a support
group or caring friends may help alleviate your depression.
There are times
when tears make things worse. Co-workers, bosses, some family members
and others may have zero-tolerance for your tears. Knowing this can
add to your stress, but if you plan times for your tears, the pent-up emotions
will be released into healthy tears, making you less apt to spill them
out in front of those who are least sympathetic. Some find crying
in the shower a great release; others plan a block of time to be alone
or with sympathetic people for purposeful grieving. Journaling--writing
your thoughts in a personal notebook--may be one of the healthiest keys
to releasing your storehouse of emotions. Putting events down on
paper to open floodgates--healthy floodgates. At a later date when
you read through your journal you'll find further healing, for remembrance
of our tears helps us see how much healing we've experienced.
Studies have shown
healthy people tend to cry and have a more positive attitude towards tears
than those who suffer from ulcers or colitis, two conditions considered
to be stress related.
If you're one
who is unable to shed tears due to the way you were raised, plan to spend
time alone with special items of your child, recalling how deep your love
was, or look through a picture album or visit the cemetery. Hopefully
you'll find tears are a healing balm for your broken heart.
One further fascinating
aspect of God's tender care when He created us is that even people who
have "dry eye syndrome" (which is caused when the lacrimal gland does not
secrete enough tears to lubricate the eyes adequately) may lose other tearing
functions of the eyes, but the very last function to be lost is the ability
to shed emotional tears. God knew that all through life there would
be times when we'd need to relieve pent-up stress by shedding tears prompted
by our emotions.
1:3,4 in which God is referred to as "the God of all comfort" is the theme
verse of our paper. The word "comfort" in the original Greek language
means " a calling alongside." Our English word for comfort comes
from two Latin words which mean "to strengthen." Thank God He truly
is a God of Comfort--He comes alongside of us and strengthens us.
He's touched with our sorrow and grief; He feels our pain and strengthens
us. His presence and strength assure us that healing and joy will
MOTHERS DON'T GET A PERFECT ENDING~