When you inform people of your love for tragedies and tearjerkers, they shoot you the look–yes, THAT look. They’re judging you as the depressed loner, someone who listens to angsty songs, paints their bedroom jet black, and goes out every night to get their share of BDSM. And I guess…not unfairly? I mean, who actually likes subjecting themselves to tears and heartbreak without meriting a label as a freaky masochist?
But in the words of Gandalf the Grey, “not all tears are an evil” and I honestly don’t believe sad books are the depressing downers that everyone believes them to be.
Sure, you might feel depressed afterwards, but do you ever notice that after you get over that sadness, you’re a lot more mature and appreciative a person you are about your own life? That’s because whether it be in the form of books or movies, sad stories present us with the life experiences that we haven’t had the chance to live yet.
And in living through those traumatic events through someone else, we inadvertently come to remember all the good things that we have our lives, all the things we shouldn’t take for granted. And if that’s the sort of positive influence that “depressing” books are having on me, why should I shy away from that? Why should anyone?
So please, do share in some of my favorite teary moments from my bookshelf as I wander off to find another book that will make me cry…
Oh wait, did I just out myself as a masochist again? Dammit.
“I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried part of my life along with my dog.”
— Where the Red Fern Grows
And Tam Lin? Matt took out the note again. ‘El Patron says I have to go with him. I can’t do anything about it.‘
‘You could have done something about it,’ Matt whispered. ‘You could have said no.’
— The House of the Scorpion
“And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.”
— Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
“She leaned down and looked at his lifeless face and Leisel kissed her best friend, Rudy Steiner, soft and true on his lips. He tasted dusty and sweet. He tasted like regret in the shadows of trees and in the glow of the anarchist’s suit collection.”
— The Book Thief
“A sound of cornered animal fear and hate and surrender and defiance, that if you ever trailed a coon or cougar or lynx is like the last sound the treed and shot and falling animal makes as the dogs get him, when he finally doesn’t care about anything, but himself and his dying.”
— One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Next
“I’m sure he’ll embrace everything about her–her griefs, her sadness. Eun-hyung, you are that person for me. If I ever fall in love again, I’m sure that person will be you coming back to me.”
— Let Dai
“But to Sam, the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea, he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart.”
— The Return of the King
“Ptolemy gave me a small salute, then his head fell back gently against the wall. I rotated toward my enemy and raised a paw to smite them, but my substance had become diffuse like smoke. Despite my most desperate urgings, I could do nothing to hold it firm. All light around me vanished, my consciousness departed; the Other Place pulled me away. Furiously, against my will, I accepted Ptolemy’s last gift.”
— Ptolemy’s Gate
“Their bodies locked together as though a trap had sprung. Their mouths met, and each devoured the other. Each frantic heartbeat at the walls of ribs trying to get to the other until their held breaths burst out, and Lancelot, dizzied, found the door and blundered down the stairs. And he was weeping bitterly.”
— The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights
“He guessed, in the hours or years remaining to him, he would remember the effect of Trism clearly, without corruption, as a secret pulse held in a pocket somewhere behind the heart. The exact look of Trism though, the scent and heft of him, the feel of him, would probably decay into imprecision, a shadowy form, unseen but imagined.”
— Son Of A Witch
Jonas had been staring glumly at the floor. Now he looked up, startled. “I didn’t know you had a daughter, Giver! You told me you had a spouse. But I never knew about your daughter.”
The Giver smiled, and nodded. For the first time in their long months together, Jonas saw him look truly happy.
“Her name was Rosemary,” The Giver said.
— The Giver
“I don’t want you to go,” he said again.
And that was all he needed to say.
He leaned forward onto her bed and put his arm around her.
He knew it would come, and soon, maybe even this 12:07. The moment she would slip from his grasp, no matter how tightly he held on.
But not this moment, the monster whispered, still close. Not just yet.
Conor held tightly onto his mother.
And by doing so, he could finally let her go.
— A Monster Calls
“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” — The Return of the King
So what were your favorite teary moments? Did any of them make this list? Let me know in the comments below, and until next time. Cheers! 🙂