It’s impossible to not cry while watching The Impossible

You know that kind of sob that starts in your chest, rattling around like a tiger trying to escape its cage, the sob escalating into an involuntary shudder because it has nowhere else to go? This sadness has more of a rich texture to it, starting somewhere deeper than a superficial tear. Starting in your heart. Something in the moment, in your resolve, breaks, and you start to crumble.

Imagine feeling that — or rather, recall feeling that — and picture that experience happening in a movie theatre. Surrounded by at least 30 other moviegoers. Imagine that every single other person in the theatre is going through the same experience. That was the experience I had going to see The Impossible in theaters.

I knew going in that I was going to cry. I have a panic reflex to tidal waves (the end of Deep Impact, anyone?). And maybe it’s funny because I share my name with a mermaid. But drowning is one of my biggest fears. I even find snorkeling stressful. We’re not meant to breathe underwater, ok, so it just seems like tempting fate. In any case, I knew that the reenactment of the tsunami would be hard to watch.

But truthfully, the tsunami is an oddly detached moment. Because of the nature of a tidal wave, to completely consume everything without exception, I found myself numb watching it unfold before my eyes. ¬†What really got me, and what gets me every time, are the little moments of kindness, of emotional connection. I think about going through that situation and I’m not sure how I would react, if I would have what it takes to survive. The hardest part about watching The Impossible is that it’s about family.

I’m not sure how many people know the resolution of this true story going into the film; I did. But that didn’t diminish the experience for me. There were moments that, had I been alone, I would have been absolutely destroyed. As it were, I shuddered with sadness A LOT. And then I would settle down and continue watching until another moment came along and I lost it.

Needless to say, I wore waterproof mascara and it worked (recommended).

Lucky for you, you can watch it in the privacy of your own home, now that it’s out on DVD, etc. You can get as Lauren Conrad streaky mascara as you’d like.