This article relates three contexts crucially defined by the experience of grief and distress among the Warao, an Amerindian population of Venezuela: ritual wailing performed by women at death, in front of the corpse; drunken intoxication, which essentially takes place on 2 November (the Day of the Dead), during and after visits to cemeteries; and discursive references, in the course of ordinary interactions, to the fact that one will cry, or has cried, for someone else. It shows how emotional states can be intentionally managed and yet experienced as moving forces, and stresses the ethical efficacy of sorrow, which accounts for the funerary and memorial practices of the Warao.