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We need never be ashamed of our tears.”   – Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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I admit, I’m not a good crier. I hate crying. I never used to cry. I used to be good at holding back tears. Now, I cry quite easily. I cry at sad or sappy movies. I cry when I say goodbye to people I know I won’t see again for awhile. I cry over Halmark commercials and at pictures of adorable animals on Facebook. The thought of how quickly time goes by, moves me to tears if I’m feeling sentimental and I feel sentimental a lot more now than I used to.

Some people relish their tears. These are the people who say that they actually enjoy a “good cry”…that they feel better for it. I rarely feel better for it. I sometimes feel lighter for it but rarely better. I hate the puffy eyes and the stuffed up nose that come with a serious cry but I do understand the need to cry now in ways I never did before. Crying is a release. It relieves pent up physical stress. It changes my perspective.

Even though I get it and even though I do it more now, since my sarcoidosis diagnosis, I still hate crying. I don’t see myself turning into someone who looks forward to. I won’t be setting aside time for it in my schedule. At the same time, I am no longer ashamed to cry. Crying is not a sign of weakness. It is actually a sign of strength. It is a very real, very human emotion that allows us to utterly and truly be ourselves in those moments when our face is wet and our nose is dripping.

Perhaps this change in how easily I cry now, is a sign that I am more in touch with my humanity. Perhaps all these new found tears really mean is that I now know how precious and fragile life can be.

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