Friday, April 15, 2011
Tears in Heaven
For those who don't know, this is my sweetheart and better half, David.
David is the epitome of what a husband, father and friend should be - kind, patient, fun loving, long suffering (hello - he's married to me!), charitable, generous of spirit, quick to forgive and wise beyond his years coupled with a deep seeded devotion to God. Indeed, he is my Prince Charming and one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever known. I am blessed to called him my Sweetheart.
As we have walked this path, we have found (like in other areas) that Men and Women grieve differently. Though we are novices on this walk of Profound Grief, I thought it would be helpful to have a male perspective chime in on what is going on in their minds and hearts. While Men may not be as vocal or outwardly emotional as their female counterparts, they are every bit as affected. And I think the emotional support and recognition of grief for Fathers is especially lacking.
We are going to try and do our part to change that and include a seat at our cozy, comfortable kitchen conversation table for all Men and Fathers (affectionately called "Daddies" in our home) who are experiencing Loss and Heartache.
Welcome, Fathers. Welcome.
So - without further adieu - here is the Man of MY heart, David.
Tears are an interesting thing. They are present at the extremes. Have you ever laughed so hard that they fall freely? We "bust a gut" and it can actually hurt! There is a closing scene in the movie "Bucket List" that is a good example of this. Another extreme that brings tears occurs because of weather. You might have experienced it if the sun is too bright or if the wind is blowing and you don't have any glasses or other protection to shield it. Then of course there is crying because of physical pain. We were pushed beyond a "pain threshold" because a nerve was stimulated too much. Sometimes we have this happen by accident such as when we hit our finger with a hammer while pounding a nail. Other times, we may choose to do this for a medical purpose that might save our life. I had this happen when I was operated on to fix the ill effects of a burst appendix. There are so many extremes associated with tears.
I have had the "extreme" bring many tears in the past few months. It hasn't come because of the extremes mentioned previously. These tears have their roots in the gift of love.
I have had a struggle in my life. The struggle involves experiences early in my life. These struggles caused me to hurt and to close my heart in order to avoid hurting again. Well, I have been very blessed by a loving Savior who helped me realize how I had closed my heart and a wonderful wife who continually shows me what it means to love with all of your heart. My sweetheart is one passionate woman and she loves so deeply.
This love makes you vulnerable and it brings the ability to experience the greatest joys in life as well as hurts that are deeper than anything that is purely physical. The two extremes are related. As the ability to love grows deeper, vulnerability increases.
One of my favorite scriptures is found in the New Testament. It simply states "Jesus Wept" (John 11:35). The most powerful and greatest man of all, even God himself, wept. As I said earlier, it is He who has taught and shown me how to "love." In fact, another scripture identifies Him as the the epitome of love, "God is Love"(1 John 4:8,16). He truly understands and has felt all that I have felt and feel (Alma 7:11-12 in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ).
I am a man. Sometimes I get back into the habit of closing my heart because it hurts and guys aren't supposed to cry, right? WRONG!!! Crying is a divine manifestation of the gift of love. My wife has told me that she wants me to be more emotionally authentic with her. In other words, being real with how I am feeling at any given moment. In my opinion, there is nothing more manly that I or any man can do than to serve his sweetheart and share the full spectrum of extremes together.
I used to wonder if there were tears in heaven. Eric Clapton obviously wondered the same thing when he penned a song following the death if his son. It is a beautiful expression of emotion but I must disagree with his line "I know there'll be no more, tears in heaven." I know there is and will be tears in heaven. I will have overwhelming emotion at a reunion my whole family looks forward to. I am certain that the millions of tears that have been shed over the past few months because of the extreme feelings of loss (it. hurts. bad.) will be overwhelmingly exceeded by extreme feelings of joy at that reunion. I am further confident that my Bennett Boy and other loved ones who have gone before us cry with us and reach out in whatever ways they can from heaven. Heaven too has extremes.
I hope I can do my part to always make my home a heaven on earth by allowing myself to feel and express all of the extremes that produce tears. I look forward to experiencing new extremes and allowing myself to cry.
Let the tears flow.