Passing Through the Valley of Tears

Today is Sunday, July 2, 2017. Five hours ago, while in Bible Study, our teacher read about the Baka Valley, the Valley of Tears. I know that valley well. In fact, I was holding back the tears at the end of class. So instead of staying for the worship service I went to the cemetery. I needed to have a talk with my wife. Yes, I have become like those you see in the movies who sit talking to their loved one. 

I have not followed the typical stages of loss. My grief can be neatly placed inside two containers.

The first container holds the memories of 35 years together that represent an endless array of things we will never do again. Just the other day I reached into the glove box of my car and found her sunglasses. She will never ride beside me again with my hand in hers. Precious are the memories.

The second container is still being filled. I have learned so much about myself and life in general the past 57 days. As I admired the flowers that her parents and I placed on her grave yesterday, the emotions that wrought several blogs over the recent weeks, surfaced. The second container could easily be labeled, “Seeing Clearly.” Life is often a fog of sorts, but when the life of a loved one ends the fog clears, and you see the past in a different light. What I have learned these past 57 days has a purpose. I’m just not sure what it is and may never know, but I do know my life is forever altered.

Psalm 84 says that the Valley of Tears is something we pass through. We don’t stay there forever.

I was recently given a tee shirt. On the front is a picture of the elementary school my father, as well as my sisters and I, attended. This past school year was the last. The school will be torn down soon. The tee shirt shows the picture of the school and below the picture are the following words. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

At some point we will all go through the Valley of Tears, and we will do so many times. Your valley experience may be recent or it may be around the corner. There is no escaping the valley, but shame on us if we waste the opportunity to learn while there.

I woke early this morning reciting the quote from the tee shirt and thanking God that my wife and I happened.

May I ask you to consider something? Let three people know, today, that you are glad they happened. As a special request, can you try to make one of the three a senior? You will make their day.

I guarantee it!

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
A Cause Worth Supporting - Give online

Get the new Elder Source Senior Ministries Mobile App
Get our new Aging E-Newspaper at