Things That Make You Cry

Sometimes it’s good to cry, watch a weepy movie and sob your heart out, feel exactly as the movie makers want you to feel, all that emotion pouring out for characters, unreal people in unreal situations.

But sometimes it’s not so unreal and a good cry can be a release, can let you know your alive, and importantly, not alone. We all feel bad and sad sometimes and we need to be free to cry. We should not be afraid of our emotions, of our empathy or sympathy for other, or our own feelings of loss and helplessness. It is one of the markers of humanity. Remember we cry as much in happiness, and it’s good to remember that as well.

Here’s a small selection of things that can make you cry. I’m sure you have your own list.


Dead Poet’s Society – when Ethan Hawke stands on the desk at the end of the film as Robin Williams is leaving is one of THE emotional moments in movie making history.


Gladiator – sorry, but the end when Russell Crowe is dying and on his way to Elysium having beaten Joaquim Phoenix, with that music is a moment for high emotion and tears. If we’re in a Russell Crowe zone, then A Beautiful Mind is also a massive tear jerker. Russ did deserve his Oscar.


Looking for Alibrandi – an Australian film based on the book by Melina Marchetta – when uber-achieving private school boy John Barton kills himself and you see scenes of Sydney to U2’s With or Without You sung hauntingly by Hamish Cowan you have to cry. The sadness is simply too much.


Eight Below – a true story about a team of snow dogs left behind in the Antarctic during one of the worst storms in history. We see the dogs survival attempts and the owner’s desperation to get back to them. Some do get lost along the way, but the ending will see you sobbing your little heart out. Not sure whether it then is one for dog lovers, or one for dog lovers to avoid.



Sophie’s Choice (and the film too). How can you fail to be moved by Sophie’s story – her struggle with sanity but mostly her inability to deal with her choice – which child to save, asked the Nazi soldier. She chose and they took both anyway. No wonder she killed herself in the end. What else could she do? Every mother knows the impossibility of Sophie’s choice, of the impossibility of going on after such an event.


The God Of Small Things – the cruelty of Baby Kochamma will outrage you as she lies and delights in the misfortune of Ammu and her twins Esther and Rahel. This is a book about death and love – death of a child- Sophie Mol, death of Velutha, the untouchable, who is beaten to death on the say-so of Baby Kochamma, acting out of spite and shame. The saddest part for me, other than Velutha’s death is when Ammu dies, alone and ill and so far away from her children.  Not to mention the damage done to Esther, who becomes silent and is sent away, while Rahel drifts into sorrow unable to find meaning in a world without Ammu and especially Esther. The ending is a triumph of love in the midst of overwhelming sadness. I love this book.



Where Do You Go To My Lovely? Peter Sarstedt’s haunting, beautiful melancholic song, that reminds me so much of the two men I love most in the world – my beloved and my boy – both of whom, interestingly, love this song. So, I hear it and I think of them and how much I love them both.


Guitar Man – Bread. A song of many years ago – there are no connected memories but the haunting sadness of the story of the song and the melody is enough to make me teary when I’m feeling sad.


I’ll Stand By You – Pretenders. This is my song for Grace. It was on the radio at the time and it spoke of love, of endurance, of trying to be there. It always makes me cry.

With or Without You – U2 – actually they have a few heart-touching songs, sort of raw and insistent. You’ve been in love, you feel pain, you know what it’s all about. You listen to this song, think of your own life, know the truth and weep.

Love Turns to Lies – Chris Rea – ‘you were going to leave me anyway’. When love falls away, runs out of speed, dies slowly. Not the song to listen to when you’re in the midst of falling out, or uncertain about love. But Chris Rea is good at heart-rending songs – I’d listen to all of Shamrock Diaries again – you’ll feel nostalgic, old, a bit sad about how life was and now is and there will be a tear, a small streak of salt water down your cheek.



Going home brings out the tears – flying into your home city after a prolonged absence is a time for tears. Look out the window onto your patch of earth and you’ll feel the emotion build.

Weddings and funerals – they just do! All those people, all that feeling, all that intensity. What choice do you have?

Becoming a parent – it is one of the most spectacular events of your life – look upon the creature you have created, feel the love, hold it close – you’ll cry, for love, for the joy of this profound moment. You’ll cry in years to come too, hopefully mostly in joy.

So, the list is endless. Create your own – what makes you cry in sadness, in joy? (Images courtesy Google Images)


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