The Tears of a Caregiver and the Bible
- Published on Sunday, 27 April 2014 14:29
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
The caregiver is often brought to tears as they watch the slow decline and the suffering of the loved one who is in their care…this is especially true of the caregivers who have loved ones with Alzheimer’s or one of the dementia diseases…as they watch the slow progression of this disease over a period of years…
Once the loved one has passed away, the caregiver moves into a grieving period and once again may find the need to shed tears…Alzheimer’s has a very long period for the loved one’s journey through the shadows and the darkness of the disease…The average is 8 years. June’s journey was almost 12 years…because the result is always the same for this long journey of this terminal disease, it also has it’s own grieving period during the journey.
The Bible has many references to “Tears”, “Wept”, “Weeping”, or “Crying”. There are at least 40 or more such references in the Bible.
Most caregivers would be surprised to know that God is concerned enough about the weeping and sorrow of his children that he actually keeps a record of their tears…they are saved in a tear bottle…
“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?” Psalms 56:8 –(KJV)
There is a page on this website that discusses God’s tear bottles and the very old and ancient Jewish tradition of the use of “Tear Bottles”...Click on the below link to view the page on June's web site:
Jesus Himself is described as weeping in the Bible…anyone who thinks it is not proper or not manly to weep or cry needs to rethink this feeling…
I would frequently weep or cry when watching June in her long journey through Alzheimer’s and then again later in my grieving process because of losing June…I would ask…why would or should I be held to a different standard than Jesus has already established?
Let us look first at two references in the Bible that describe Jesus as weeping:
“Jesus wept.” John 11: 35 –KJV
“ And when HE was come near, HE beheld the city, and wept over it,”…Luke 19: 41-44 –KJV
Tears are not uncommon and no one should ever be made to feel embarrassed if they should find them selves in the position of shedding tears when discussing their loved one...after all Jesus wept at the news of the death of his friend Lazarus...
Jesus also wept when he could forsee the destruction of the city of Jerusalem...
The Bible also has over 40 references to weeping, crying and tears and none are presented or appear to be portrayed in a disparaging or negative way...
Below are the additional Bible references categorized either by “Wept or Weeping” and or by “Tears and Crying”.
Wept or Weeping
Acts 9:39 – “Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.”
Deuteronomy 34:8 “And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. “
Ezra 3:13 “So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off. “
Ezra 10:1 “Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore.”
Esther 4:3 “And in every province, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, there was great mourning among the Jews, and fasting, and weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. “
Ezekiel 8:14 | “Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. “
Isaiah 15:3 “In their streets they shall gird themselves with sackcloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their streets, every one shall howl, weeping abundantly.”
Isaiah 15:5 |”My heart shall cry out for Moab; his fugitives shall flee unto Zoar, an heifer of three years old: for by the mounting up of Luhith with weeping shall they go it up; for in the way of Horonaim they shall raise up a cry of destruction.”
Isaiah 16:9 | “Therefore I will bewail with the weeping of Jazer the vine of Sibmah: I will water thee with my tears, O Heshbon, and Elealeh: for the shouting for thy summer fruits and for thy harvest is fallen.”
Isaiah 22:12 | “And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to mourning, and to baldness, and to girding with sackcloth:”
Isaiah 65:19 “And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.”
Jeremiah 3:21 “A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God.”
Jeremiah 9:10 | “For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.”
Jeremiah 31:9 | “They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. “
Jeremiah 31:15 | “Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.”
Jeremiah 31:16 | “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.”
Jeremiah 41:6 | “And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.
Jeremiah 48:5 | “For in the going up of Luhith continual weeping shall go up; for in the going down of Horonaim the enemies have heard a cry of destruction.”
Jeremiah 48:32 | “O vine of Sibmah, I will weep for thee with the weeping of Jazer: thy plants are gone over the sea, they reach even to the sea of Jazer: the spoiler is fallen upon thy summer fruits and upon thy vintage.”
Jeremiah 50:4 | “In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.”
Joel 2:12 | “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: “
Job 16:16 | “My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;”
Malachi 2:13 | “And this have ye done again, covering the altar of the LORD with tears, with weeping, and with crying out, insomuch that he regardeth not the offering any more, or receiveth it with good will at your hand.”
Matthew 2:18 | “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”
Numbers 25:6 “And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weepingbefore the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.”
Psalms 6:8 “Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.”
Psalms 30:5 “For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Psalms 102:9 “For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping,”
Romans 12:15 - "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."
2 Samuel 3:16 - “And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.”
2 Samuel 15:30 - “And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up.”
Tears, Cry or Crying
Isaiah 38: 5 - “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years”.
2 Kings 20: 5 - “Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD.”
Psalms 42:3 – “My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where [is] thy God?”
Psalms 56:8– “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?”
Psalms 80:5 – “Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.”
Psalms 126:5 – “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
Revelation 7:17 – “For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.”
Revelation 21:4 – “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
“My tears are the words with which I tell God of my pain.”
"I know crying is a human characteristic.
I will not be ashamed of my need to cry,
for tears are part of my human experience."
(Sefra Kobrin Pitzele)
"Sometimes Memories sneak out of my
Eyes and Roll down my Cheeks"
Everything you want to know about Grief Share programs just click on the below link:
A Summary of June and Our Life Together
June and I were both products of poor farm families, and raised during the "great depression" days...June and I became the last of the old fashioned "traditional families" in which June was in charge of the home (homemaker) and I was in charge of income production. June and I had a joint discretionary checking account. We jointly planned vacations and family activities...we were also the first in the history of our own two families to offer a college education (tuition paid) to those of our children who desired to better their own education.
In looking back at our life, June clearly had the toughest challenges as the "lady in charge of the home"...I remember a former neighbor and friend of June's telling me in later years, how much she admired June...how well organized June was and how this lady wished she could be more like June. June not only ran the home including the housekeeping, laundry, meals, being a mother, a grandmother and a wife. June was also a very active force in our Redeemer Lutheran church where she pulled a very heavy oar.
June always managed to look fresh, sharp and beautiful. During the times and days of our early limited income, June made many of the children's clothes as well as some of her own clothing on her own sewing machine in order to assist with our then very tight family economy. June also served as the family barber and cut the childrens hair...June was so proficient as a barber that she frequently received requests to cut some of the neighborhood children's hair. I really do not know how she did it all...
After our child raising years came to an end, (June and Stan have four children and 20 grandchildren) I took an early retirement from my administrative job with a large insurance company (State Farm) after 32 Years and then plunged full energy into a second career of forensic science consulting. June was my administrative assistant in our new life which quickly became a life of adventure...as my forensic business rapidly prospered, it required travel through out the United States, Canada and Europe...I was fortunate to be a part of a number of high profile cases including the Robert Kennedy Assassinaton...June traveled with me at least 100 times on forensic science conferences that criss crossed the US, Canada and Europe...London became June's favorite city...we participated in the first ever forensic science conference in the Soviet Union during the height of the cold war...June and I danced the night away in Moscow's Rossia Hotel...in a visit to Rome, June shook hands with Pope Paul VI during an audience...later during a conference at Oxford University, June and I lived in the old student housing of Christ Church College...what a wonderful life we had.
It was after another 20 years and at the age 77, as Alzheimer's took over our life, I retired a second time to devote full time to June's care...I was so richly blessed by having June and her unconditional love in my life for 56 years regardless of the final cruel impact of Alzheimer's!...I owe June and God and unending debt...
I have often described June and my life together as a "Divine appointment"...I think it was clearly more then a simple blessing...while I have also described it as "winning the lottery of life!"...it was God that handed us the winning tickets...thanks God!
Bridie Breen - Manchester, United Kingdom - (28 April 2014): "'A tear shed in compassion at another's grief is no less compassionate if she'd in half remembrance of ones own' Words I heard when loss was high in my life. Never forgotten since and often death creeps in to remind us of what love is all about."
Denise Roberts - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, United Kingdon - (29 April 2014): "How lovely."
Kristi Fane - Loves Park, Illinois - (29 April 2014): "I actually wrote a poem about this, and I have it displayed next to "Tear Bottle" i bought from a Christian company."
After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and into June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop", where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - just Click on: