My friend, Carol, and I enjoyed going to the movies together when our children were small. Luckily, we both had agreeable husbands who’d watch the kids while we had an occasional night out.
If the movie we chose happened to be the least bit sad, Carol couldn’t hold back the tears. One, in particular that had her bawling like a baby, was Imitation of Life. When we left the theater, her eyes were swollen and red and her nose was beginning to look a little bulbous from all the wiping she’d done. She got very angry with me because I didn’t shed a tear. Actually, it was all I could do to keep from laughing at her. To me, movies were just make-believe. Good acting; that’s all. But Carol lived it! She still gets sad when I mention that movie today – many years later.
But as the years have passed, the tables have turned and she’s had a few chances to laugh at me. I told her recently about crying while watching a TV movie and she giggled. “I’m so happy to hear that,” she said. “It’s about time I get to call you a crybaby.”
I’d say it must have something to do with getting older, but Carol’s getting older, too, and she’s not crying anymore! So what’s wrong with me?
Sometimes, I hear a song and get teary-eyed; think about someone who died a long time ago and start sobbing; watch a patriotic video and have to wipe the tears away; hear about someone suffering with a terminal disease and get very sad, and don’t dare show me pictures of homeless animals from the animal shelter or tell me an animal cruelty story! That one puts me right over the edge! And I avoid the part of the newspaper like the plague that has pictures of the sad little faces of dogs and cats who want to be adopted!
I’ve been reading a book that makes me cry. It's a wonderful book. Just sad in places. I should have finished it days ago, but when I start feeling too sad, I know it’s time to stop and do something else, like a workout or a walk.
My son says it’s an issue of “mind over matter.” Perhaps he’s right.
But there’s another theory I like better: Tears are good for us – therapeutic! So I checked it out and found an article that listed seven reasons that crying is good for us:
1. Tears Help Us See
2. Tears Kill Bacteria
3. Tears Remove Toxins
4. Crying Can Elevate Mood
5. Crying Lowers Stress
6. Tears Build Community
7. Tears Release Feelings