I helped the father and his two sons with tefillin. They are from Argentina. The father read the Shema in Hebrew. The boys had to read it in Spanish. Everything went well until I showed the father how to bless his sons. He wanted to put one hand on each son's head and bless them together but I told him to do one son at a time. He put both his hands on the elder son's head, said a few words of the blessing and broke down hysterically crying. He hugged the boy tightly, sobbing, and wouldn't let go. Finally, he let go and we brought the younger son over. The same thing happened again, and now the older son was also crying seeing his father and brother crying.
There are tears of sorrow, and there are tears of joy. There are tears of disappointment, and there are tears of tremendous appreciation. There are all kinds of tears, but basically the same thing is happening. The immediate emotion you are experiencing overwhelms your intellect and the result is a loss of control, and you fall into the wondrous emotion of tears.
Having just put on tefillin at the Kotel, read the Shema with a full heart, prayed for his loved ones, and then to hold his beloved children and ask G-d to guard them…it was too much for him. His love for his sons swept away his control and he broke down crying…holding tightly onto what he loved…and he cried. His love and prayers for his sons flooded his mind, and he sobbed like a child.
How do you feel after you cry so much? Well, it all depends on the reason you cried. Tears express the emotion. They can relieve the pain that caused them or they can increase the appreciation of what caused them.
The father and his sons walked away loving each other even more than they did when they walked in.