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Yesterday we said goodbye to one of our sweetest family members. Scout drifted away peacefully in our loving arms, and we were left with the beautiful memories of her faithful presence.
Needless to say, there were many tears.
Crying is a natural response to stress–it helps us release tension. While it can be a symptom of other health conditions like depression (especially when it occurs regularly and over an extended period of time), crying in response to things that stir our emotions is normal. Some researchers even believe that crying helps the body reestablish homeostasis after experiencing high amounts of stress.
We cry for a number of reasons: to communicate to others that we need help, to sympathize with and comfort others who are going through tough times and to mourn. And we are sometimes even “moved to tears” when we experience something beautiful, as with music or other forms of artistic expression. Crying is a form of self-care.
When I was little my mom used to say, “You only get one day to cry.” Of course she didn’t mean that all of life’s hardships could be dealt with in a single day, but it has always reminded me that the longer I spend feeling sorry for myself–for my losses and heartaches–the less time I have to appreciate and experience the joys in life.
And in this case, I want to spend more time remembering Scout’s beautiful face, her silliness and the love that she brought to our family and friends.