Some years ago at a time of grief, a friend told me "tears are holy water." Aside from being an expression of deep emotion, tears are salt water that come from a blessed vessel. He was providing comfort at a difficult time, and giving me the gift of a safe space to cry.
Those tears were a gift, and not just in the release of emotion that I had been holding in. Those tears were holy because they were liquid love; they were also a shared pain. My friend, in stating that he would witness my tears, was granting a safe and holy space of companionship and . He gave room for my emotions, a comfort of being in a safe space with a person who not consider me weak for crying, nor use those tears to mock me. The tears were holy as they fell in the midst of relationship, as the burden of grief was shared.
In the past few weeks as my lovely old dog Guinness headed closer to his end, the tears have flowed easily, and abundantly. It has been a holy time; love has leaked out freely. I have been profoundly supported in this journey: friends have offered kind words and encouraging embraces. From sitting on a fur-covered floor with me ("there's something grand about crying on the floor with someone you love") to offers to accompany us when the time came, the time has been holy and the loving connections have meant the world to me. I have been ocularly emoting a lot of holy water.
For me, crying with someone does not mean that I am wounded beyond composure; it means that I am able to be so vulnerable as to let my heart-broken reality come through. It means that I trust and appreciate our relationship that should the tears need to flow, I feel safe to lean on you for support - because our relationship is holy.
When Guinness died, he had a belly full of cheese and treats (a typical lab!); he was embraced with love and prayer; and he was anointed with holy water as it flowed from my eyes.