Whether it’s the opening montage of Up or when Harry lists all the reasons he loves Sally, we each have those moments that bring tears to our eyes. Be it in books or on the big screen, fiction can have us reaching for the tissues or subtly sniffing away the tears for all manner of reasons. Yet I don’t think that most people mind, because weeping along with someone else’s happiness or blubbing at a fictional break up can be a very good kind of crying.
It is, all this tear-shedding, cathartic. It’s cleansing. It is, sometimes, a really enjoyable thing to do. It rids you of feelings that aren’t good for you: maybe bitterness, perhaps sadness, or pent-up frustration. Furthermore, it is an expression of pure empathy. It’s reassuring to know you have the capability, that capacity, to feel so deeply for another, even when they exist only in print or as an image on a roll of film.
I cried today whilst watching Friends. (The one where Monika and Richard break up.) I cried because it seemed so sad, that two people who loved each other couldn’t work it out. I let a little tear run down my cheek, bounce of my chin, and I felt better. I’m not sure why, because I hadn’t been feeling particularly bad. However, I felt like something negative had left me and had been replaced by something warmer, something more friendly.
Oh yes, I am a big fan of the good old fashioned cry. From the bit where Julia Styles reads the poem in 10 Things I Hate About You to when the Wizarding World lost Dumbledore forever, I’ve no shortage of fiction that makes my cheeks turn puffy and my eyes red. It’s an overlooked therapy, an oft-missed technique for cleansing the soul and spring cleaning the emotional sock draw. What’s your biggest tearjerker, I wonder?