from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A symbolic "valley of tears"; meaning the world and the sorrows felt through life. Similar to the Old Testament Psalm 23's reference to the "valley of the shadow of death", the phrase implies that sadness is part of the physical world (i.e. part of human experience).
From vale a Middle English word meaning a valley or a dale. (Wiktionary)