How To Tell A Sad Story

A movie was recently released called The Fault in our Stars.  I haven’t seen it yet but I hope to soon.  I started hearing several good things about the film and decided I would read the book before I actually went to see the movie.  I ordered the book before our trip to Europe and finished the story on our 10 hour flight back to the U.S. earlier this week.

I loved it.

For those of you who have not yet read the book or seen the film, I won’t go into too much detail here. The story focuses on the journey of two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. I’m sure that description might prompt a few people to shy away from the story but let me assure you it is more than that. It is pain, it is beauty, it is love, it is sadness, it is comical, it is joy, it is disappointment…it is life.

There are a couple of sentences toward the end of the book that made me pause.  The main characters, Hazel and Augustus, are retelling a sad and disappointing experience they had and here is the explanation the reader is given for why Hazel shares the memory in the way she shares it: “We made the story funny. You have a choice in this world, I believe, about how to tell sad stories, and we made the funny choice.”

I love this.  It’s a great lesson for how to live our life.  We have this incredible gift as to how we choose to remember the disappointing times.  Making the choice to find the good in the midst of the bad is a beautiful way to redeem something.  And, I don’t mean we do this in a way where we become delusional about the reality but we simply choose to see pain and disappointment with eyes of optimism instead.

Redemption can be found in any journey but sometimes we have to seek hard for it. Yet once we find it…what a gift!

I took this picture last week while walking down by the waterfront in Venice, Italy. I like this picture. It symbolizes how I hope I will choose to face everyday along the path. Sometimes there’s an over abundance of trash and we become tempted to fixate on that. Yet, even in the midst of the not so beautiful, we can still choose to seek the beautiful.

3 thoughts on “How To Tell A Sad Story

  1. Chris Monahan

    When I saw the previews for the movie a few months back, I knew I wanted to see it. And I enjoyed it tremendously despite its heavy material.
    I did not read the book, so here’s hoping the movie lives up to the book for you … which we know doesn’t regularly happen.


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