Joy and Sorrow Welcome Here

“Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.” – Kahlil Gibran

One of the many things I have noticed since I found my daughter four years ago (well, almost four years, as of June 28th) is that I cry. I cry alot and I cry often.

Oh, I dont cry about her. Well, not always. I cry at everything.  Everything touches me deeply.


Today while relaxing in a park with Rich (my fiance) and my sons, I watched a soccer game being played by what appeared to be middle school girls in our new hometown. One of the girls kicked the ball HARD and it shot right towards, and hit (equally hard), another girl in the rib cage. The hit took her to her feet immediately. A second passes while those nearby her wait and within a few more seconds all the girls on the field drop to their knees and look towards the injured player. A coach type person comes out to the field to ask the girl how she is. She is clearly heaving from tears and pain. Coach waits a minute. Girl gets up, high fives the coach and the entire field of players and spectators start to clap.

And I start to cry. It was so beautiful and touching.

Last night, fiance and I watch Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson.  There are divorce dynamic scenes in that movie that are truly heartbreaking. Anyone that has endured divorce (as my fiance and I both have) will surely relate. No surprise, the scenes made me cry. So raw. So true. So painful. Even though Harvey Schine was a character in a film, I wanted to reach in and hug him.

I cry at music. I cry at TV. I cry at my sons expressing a kind gesture to a classmate. I cry at my fiance’s facebook status messages. I cry at status messages my mother leaves my niece who is currently studying in Paris.

I cry.


One might likely jump to the assumption that I was always a cryer. They might even tell me they are a cryer as well.

I assure you. I was not always a cryer. Not in the least. In fact, I would say I was cold, unfeeling, flat, locked up, bitter and cold.

For me, this lacrimation is directly related to my reunion. And the oddball nerd part of me finds that rather intriguing and naturally had to go research it.

What I discovered, and perhaps what I have always known, is that my pain is proportionate to my joy. The more I hurt about my reunion, the more I grieve the loss of a daughter, the more I agonize, openly, over her pictures, her life that I am unable to share with her, the more I am able to love my sons, my fiance, my life.

Not surprising, I find this sentiment echoed in one of my favorite poets, Khalil Gibran.

Khalil writes:

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. “

It seems sadly and horribly ironic that the more my daughter rejects and avoids me, the more she hurts me, the more I am able to love others.  The more pain I allow myself to feel, the more love I am able to give to others. The more I open my heart to the pain, the more I open it to love. Acknowledging and releasing the most painful demons in my soul makes room for the most beautiful angels.

My sorrow and my joy.

Together. As one.

Together. As me.

I have tried to stop the tears. I choke them back. The lump in my throat will constrict my airway. The holding back of tears makes my eyes hurt. I gasp. I turn away from people often. I dont want them to see how much I cry.

I have worried they are indicative of some sort of mental instability.

I think I just changed my mind about that. And Mr. Gibran influenced that as well.

“I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart for the joys of the multitude. And I would not have the tears that sadness makes to flow from my every part turn into laughter. I would that my life remain a tear and a smile…A tear to unite me with those of broken heart; a smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.”

I am going to cry at will.

8 Thoughts.

  1. I cry . . . A LOT. And I laugh — and as you’ve said, smile — A LOT. They do go hand-in-hand. I also wasn’t always this way as I grew up in a stoic household, but holding my emotions in wasn’t good for me and some therapy let go of that, and then I became what I think I was meant to be — a crier and laugher/lover — a person of great emotion, let’s say. A Feeler. And that’s OK. Because I do have the great highs as well as the low lows.

    And it’s all OK. *hugs*

  2. Judy, as a male I’ve always found myself curiously at a crossroads as society has instilled in men this ‘keep your feelings in check, don’t cry or show any tears, be strong, etc’ type of mentality…this contradicts how I am as a person, more of a ‘in touch with my Venutian side(as well as my Martian side), wear my heart on my sleeve’ sort of guy…
    Factor in also that I am a Cancer and we tend to be at times a ‘rollercoaster’ of emotions, at times very high, at times very low & at times I’ve always struggled with trying to be on an ‘even keel’…
    So between a few years of therapy along with having a tremendously supportive partner(thank you Suz, MWAH), I’ve learned to just let my emotions run their course…rather than continuously trying to bottle them up…she’s taught me “it’s ok to cry, just let it out”…
    To reiterate Suz’s comment, “I cry at music/TV’..
    I can listen to the ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ rendition by “IZ”(see link below) and smile, laugh, cry… who wouldn’t??

    As the song by REM says, ‘everbody hurts sometimes’…
    It’s actually benefitted my relationship with Suz & made us stronger as a couple, IMHO going this course of action vs. trying to be all stoic and such…
    My belief is this letting my emotions come forth at times makes me more of a well rounded person and parther…

  3. I so agree, Rich, and applaud you as a male for being able to do so; not many men can do that in our society. It’s so instilled in those of us who grew up with that. I find that at times when I think I would cry at something . . . . there’s nothing. I don’t think there’s really “nothing;” I think my past conditioning is somehow overcoming what I’ve learned over the years.

    It’s when I can really let go and be myself that I’m at my healthiest.

    So interesting what you say, Rich. My father who laughed A LOT and who I get a lot of my humor and sense of play from, was very very stoic when it came to tears. He was very stoic with “mushy” feelings and I never saw him cry . . . . until he was terminally ill. Then he expressed love a great deal and cried a lot. I think he was able to be himself without anything holding him back.

    It is the healthiest way to be for those of us who are very emotional beings.

  4. I hate the pain that we mother’s carry around because of having our baby taken for adoptiion.

    I am sorry to tell you that it doesn’t get easier even after 16 yeas in reunion.

    I don’t think anyone can relate to your pain unless they have lost a REAL, LIVE,
    baby to the adoption machine.

    It is a never ending death for a mother because someone needed a baby, and someone made money off of a mother and baby loss.

  5. YTS – No need to be sorry to tell me that. I agree. I accepted years ago it will never get easier, it will never get better. I accept that it just is. While many will tout healing and recovery. I have accepted I have to live with this pain the rest of my life. It is a chornic illiness that I deal with. it comes and goes in waves and I have made accomodations in my life for it.

    That being said, I do believe I choose if I am bitter and angry and sad all the time or not. I choose not to be.

  6. Hmm, I cry at the most insignificant, little things…a line in a movie, even a sentimental advertisement. The big stuff? No crying there.

  7. Maybe – This is exaclty the way I was years ago (only I did not even cry at the small stuff). For me, in my case, I discovered through therapy I was afraid, outright terrified to cry, for I thought if I did I would never stop. I had so much pain over the loss of my daughter and the events that lead up to it, that I could not let myself grieve or cry. I was afriad I would never stop and then would have to be locked up or something. I put up a wall, a guard, so strong that tears just never came. Now they do, constantly, but I can stop them and hey, I am not locked up somewhere after all.

    Hugs to you.

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