- Dan Connors
Reunions- get ready to cry happy tears!
Reunions of loved ones brings out the best in people. When we separate from each other, sometimes we regret nothing, but often we miss the other and realize the large hole in our lives now that they are not there. No man or woman is an island. We humans need each other much more than we'll ever realize. You see it the most when people are reunited.
When we are constantly seeing those we care about, we start to take them for granted. But a separation of time and distance forces us to re-evaluate that relationship and see how that other person enriched our lives. Sometimes, as with death, that separation is permanent. But often it can be fixed with the right effort and intention to find that loved one again and fix all the issues that drove them apart.
Below you will find ten scenes of reunification from movies and television. Each one is guaranteed to move you and make you feel better about life and those you love. Don't be afraid to happy-cry (I cried making this blog entry). You may want to ensure some privacy if you don't like others see you cry, but what the heck, let 'em see how human you are.
The first clip is from one of Steven Spielberg's early films- Empire of the Sun. In the movie, a little boy, played by Christian Bale, is separated from his family during the Japanese invasion of China. He spends most of the movie enduring the horrors of wartime and somehow is rescued with other English citizens and reunited with his parents. Look at how he and they nearly miss each other and struggle to re-connect.
The second clip is from Finding Nemo, where Nemo's dad Marlon finds his son after a long and dangerous ocean journey. Pixar has many tear-jerking reunions in their repertoire, but this was one of the first ones that propelled them into story-telling masters.
The Shawshank Redemption takes place almost entirely inside of a prison. The finale reunites its two main characters, Andy and Red, far away from the prison after Andy's improbable escape.
Home Alone tells the story of how Kevin is left behind on his family's trips, leading to funny hi-jinks and touching reunions. The reunion of the first movie is great, but this scene from Home Alone 2 is even better. Look at the iconic Rockefeller Center background and the great acting to portray the love between mother and son.
Reunions between animals and their humans are just as moving. Disney made a movie called Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey in 1993 that told the story of two dogs and a cat who endured danger to get back to their humans. Voiced by Michael J. Fox , Sally Field, and Don Ameche, the trio of course make it back in a tear-filled reunion. I dare you to watch this and not feel something special.
Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple is a hard movie to watch. Centered on Whoopi Goldbergs's long-suffering character Celie, it is one round of injustice after another. Many people are separated from each other, but at the end they all get reunited, in one of the most moving movie conclusions ever. Not only do two sisters reunite after many years, but Celie gets to meet the child that she was forced to give away as a baby.
In the final season of The Office, obnoxious character Dwight Schrute gets married, and Jim Halpert surprises us all by bringing back Michael Scott, the boss and main character of the show for many years. This reunion is both touching and funny, bringing the humanity out of two cartoonish characters that Americans had grown to love.
Station Eleven was a post-apocalypse drama shown on HBO Max during 2021. It showed the aftermath of a deadly pandemic and how the survivors coped. This scene reunites two of the main characters, who had been separated for over twenty years and multiple episodes of the miniseries. They were separated suddenly in a dangerous world, and somehow they each managed to survive. This wordless reunion speaks to me about the great love that sits inside each of us when we appreciate those who have helped us along the way.
Love Actually is a perennial Christmas favorite comedy and full of interesting characters and stories. But it starts off with scenes of actual reunions of real people that were filmed at Heathrow Airport in London. The movie starts off with this monologue by Hugh Grant to accompany these genuine scenes of re-united loved ones.
"It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
This final scene shows a reunion after death. I've always wondered if we get a chance to reunite with loved ones who have already passed away. I hope so. It's seems a shame to find love here on earth and lose it forever. This comes from the amazing Robin Williams movie, What Dreams May Come, where Robin's character dies and goes into the afterlife. Once there he finds his wife who had committed suicide in a sort of personal hell that he tries to save her from. And he also finds his two children who had died before him tragically, but in different bodies that he didn't recognize. This perfect scene shows how his daughter is revealed to him in heaven and their tearful reunion.
I can't watch scenes like these and take life for granted. There's something special going on here, and Hollywood knows enough to sell movie tickets with it. If you are estranged from someone, think about reuniting with them before it's too late. It might be worth it. I can't guarantee scenes like these, but it's possible. And if you have people in your life now that you love and appreciate, make sure that they know it now, because eventually you will be separated from them, and you may have to wait a long time to see them again.