As a Grief Specialist, I know that tears may or may not be a sign of grief. You may absolutely be crying non-stop. Keep in mind that grief is normal part of our human experience and this sign of emotions pouring out is okay.
What about the times when the tears do not come? This too is normal and natural. I can prove you that tears may not be a sign of grieving. Days after Austin died, I had to go to the mall to buy shoes for the funeral. I was in the mall shopping. I walked around the mall with a huge imaginary knife sticking out of my heart, but in the entire time when I was there, I did not shed one tear. Yet, I was grieving a one hundred percent.
Moments after Austin died, we all met at my parents’ home. Erica (Austin’s mother) and us, sisters, sat on the patio and we were not talking. We were not crying. Erica was just starting off into space. There she sat, just starting off into the distance, not talking or crying; she was just grieving. We were all grieving. Tears do not prove whether you are grieving properly. Tears do not prove how deep your love is for your loved one. Tears are an outward sign of your broken heart.
The one thing that we as grievers do not want to face is not the grief. It’s the pain that we do not want to experience. We are never truly taught how to experience painful emotions. Along with this pain comes all of the things we remember in our grief. All of the things we still need to say.
Tears are a great way to release the pain. Sometimes the pain is so great that we cannot get it out. We cannot talk, laugh, or sing. But we can cry to relieve the pressure that is building up in our heart. It is perfectly okay to cry!
Do not be too tough on yourself. If the tears come like a river or they never come. Be ok whichever type of griever you are. Tears are not a sign of how much pain you have in your heart. Tears just are.