At other times though other things have acted to set me off. Frustration at my own actions; delight in others successes; hearing inspirational stories and hearing news of those who have died.
After a busy time at work and recent terrorist acts in the U.K. I found myself suddenly anxious too. This caused me to reflect on what life was like at the heart of the Irish ‘troubles’ when I spent lots more time in central London. As I write I feel much less troubled about risks particularly as I commute by car each day.
What sparks the tears though? As I've reflected on my career in recent times I've recalled times of sorrow and delight. I've said before that my passion is about getting end of life care right for those who are dying. I've also said that in the position I'm in now means I have many people that I care for in our organisation. My actions can have ramifications that are unexpected; to get it wrong as I've owned I might do before, is frustrating though it becomes a vital learning experience.
A contrast to this is seeing the investment in others resulting in their development; finding ways to study and change their lives as well as simply passing on messages of a thanks for a job well done is another cause for celebration. Yes, a potentially tear jerking time.
Obituaries of people who've been in the public eye, such as Peter Sallis who had entertained me for so long can induce a weepy episode, particularly when set alongside the news of multiple killings on Manchester and London streets. One person I recalled was Lawrence S. Newcombe who died in 1987 (with 30 others) helping another person in the King’s Cross fire; he trained as a nurse at the same hospital as me and I recall him as a force of nature.
My joy at the achievements of others has been filled today as one son, who is proudly part of the NHS has passed his training course and now has heard he has a job in the department he works in. Lastly however the inspirational story telling by people such as Tommy Whitelaw provokes my lacrimal ducts; he reminds me of the importance of knowing something of the person I'm with and finding out about their story. Being able to share our emotional reaction with those around us is powerful and emphasises our joint humanity. Allowing times for tears is as useful as sharing laughter; for me it's important we're open about this too.