I recently came across an article “100 Things That Will Always Make Us Cry!” The list seemed to be geared for young people (it was on a site for students that included modern translations of Shakespeare and synopses and analyses for various “required reading” books.) Even if the site wasn’t so obviously scholastic, I would have known the list wasn’t meant for me — I didn’t recognize most of the items, and those I did recognize have never made me cry.
The cultural things that do make me cry (as opposed to real life things that make me cry, such as the thought that Jeff, my life mate/soul mate is dead and that is why I will never again see him here on this earth) are meetings and leavings.
When two people get together in a book or movie, no matter how disparate or desperate the mating, that makes me cry. It reminds me that never again will I get together with Jeff. “The end” has been written on our love story.
What makes me cry even more is a shot of someone walking away. Remember that old TV series, “The Incredible Hulk”? The end of every episode was the same — a shot of Bill Bixby walking away. That always got to me. And now, any scene with someone walking away makes me weep because it reminds me of my loss.
During my first months of grief, I came across a photo of Jeff I didn’t know I had. For a long time, even though it made me cry, it was the only photo of him I could look at, perhaps because it didn’t show his face. (The one photo I have that shows his face doesn’t look at all like he did at the end, which bothered me back then, but now I’d just as soon remember him the way he looks in the photo — handsome, radiant, alive.) What really made me cry over this photo is not just that he seems to be disappearing into the earth but that he’s facing the distance, as if he were already heading away from me to his destiny with eternity.
Yep, walking away.
That always makes me cry.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.