When the heart is shattered it bleeds red hot anger and rivers of white water tears.
After the funeral, we heard that Michael W. Smith, the singer of Candace's favorite song, was scheduled to appear at the concert hall. He called late one night saying that he had heard our story and wanted to give her friend, Heidi, and our family complimentary tickets to the concert. He also made arrangements for us to go backstage later to meet him. Odia, of course, thought this was pure heaven, but I dreaded it. More than that, I was afraid.
A concert by Michael W. Smith would only push me over the edge. How could I possibly bear hearing her song live when I couldn't even listen to a scratchy, faded, recorded version without falling apart?
There was only one way. First thing the morning of the concert, I put on the tape and forced myself to listen to "Friends Are Friends Forever." The song had an ability to resurrect Candace's presence, and I could feel her come swaying into the room in time to the music with that bright smile that I had seen on her face every time she listened to her song.
I played it again, and again, and again, trying to substitute her memories with mine, hoping that by making it mine, her memory wouldn't be as painful. But I couldn't.
It was her song. She had loved it so much, had played it so often that it was impossible for any of us to adopt it as our own. The pain in that song would reach out and wrench my heart out of its cavity and squeeze it, wringing out the tears until I was a puddle on the floor.
I tried to treat it as background music as I dusted the house. But every time the chorus started, the dust would blur and I'd start sobbing - not the pretty public acceptable tears but the mascara smudging, make-up ruining, ugly tears .
Finally, Cliff came home, took one look at me, and marched into the living room and turned it off. "What do you think you are doing?"
"I'm listening to it until I won't cry anymore."
He shook his head in total disbelief. "Don't you know that song will always make us cry?”
Actually, it was a wonderful concert. And when Michael W. Smith sang "Friends Are Friends Forever," I cried— and so did everyone else. But it was dark, there were no cameras on us, and it was good to cry – it was even a comfort to cry.
I learned that that it is better to grieve in concert than to grieve alone. The heart will not be denied.
There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. -Washington Irving