Did you know that in Ancient Greece, where the climate was dry and arid, they had something called a tear jar? Yes they did - and here is the legend behind the jars.
In ancient Greece, water was something VERY precious. And they thought that giving up water from one`s own body, when crying tears for the dead, was a great sacrifice. They collected their tears in tiny pitchers or "tear jars" and these tears were used to sprinkle on doorways to keep out evil, or to cool the brow of a sick child.
These tear jars were supposed to be plain and undecorated until its owner had experienced pain and anguish and grief of some sort - the death of a parent, sibling, child, or spouse. After that, the grieving person would paint the jars - with intricate and delicate designs. These jars would then be displayed in the house - kept carefully closed so the tears in the jar would not evaporate.
A scholar who has done extensive study into these tear jars has said, "this ancient custom symbolizes the transformation that takes place in people who have grieved deeply. They are not threatened by the grief of people in pain. They have been in the depths of pain themselves, and returned. Like the tear jar, they can now be with others who grieve and catch their tears."