Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears,
that grief hath shaken into frost!
This says to me that tears of grief are deep - even, bottomless. No matter how many are shed, there are as many or more to replace them - fed by an eternal fountain or wellspring of grief. But sometimes the tears are frozen within, crystallized, like frost on blades of grass. What will break them so they can freely flow?
Maybe a thought, a picture, a memory, a gift, a touch, a hug, a song, a quote, a book, a movie, a scene, a poem, a word, a dream, a look, a remark, a question, an answer, a day, an anniversary, a holiday, a place, a room, an item, a keepsake, a grave, an eulogy, a hope, a fear, a wish.
And despite the pain of tears - and maybe it is the avoidance of the pain that the tears are frozen - they are good for us. If we find ourselves in this frosty state, we may need to do something lest we remain chilled, cold and frozen within. For me, it is writing in my sacred journal. It is reading books that make me think about death and grief. It is visiting Josh every week and writing a letter to him. It is seeing the pictures that cover my fridge door and fill end tables and the piano top. It is wearing one of his shirts. It is sitting in his room reading and writing. It is writing on this blog and on my grief journey blog. These activities keep the tear ducts warm, free and open, ready when the need arises.