Jul 10 2009

Writing Tip of the Day: Be Careful With Crying Characters

Published by at 6:20 pm under Writing Articles

This is our inaugural guest post.  Thanks, Marissa!  If you’d like to provide writing advice, please send me a sample post of up to 500 words at superheronation-at-gmail-dot-com.  — B. Mac

Just recently, I tripped over a very interesting fact of writing: “If your character cries, your reader doesn’t have to.”

Think about it. Which would you rather read: A character bawling her eyes out? Or a character shivering, her eyes squeezed shut and her breathing labored, trying to deal with grief without bursting into tears?

This is probably a painfully obvious statement, but usually, crying is meant to convey sadness. Grief. Loss. That’s not it’s only purpose, however. Most of the time, the author brings their character to tears to garner some sort of reader-character sympathy. The reader sees that Character A is so sad that they’re crying, and so the reader feels sad as well.

Look at movies, though. The saddest parts are never when the character is sitting there bawling, are they? I bet you can’t name one time when the memorably poignant moment is when the character is doing nothing but crying. That’s just it: Crying loses the reader’s sympathy.

Having a character cry is usually the cheap way out. There are so many thoughts, feelings, actions associated with grief that plopping your character into the sobbing stereotype would cheat both the character and the reader. If you want your reader to feel something too, I’d recommend either removing the crying altogether and focusing on other symptoms of sadness, or easing up to the crying stage and not giving it much focus.

Now think about this: How does your character respond to sadness, grief, or loss? It depends on their personality, so it’s really up to you as the author to figure it out. Do they shiver for a while, until it all builds up, then explosively punch an inanimate object? Do they try to take deep breaths, calm themself down? Etc. Just don’t go straight from zero to sobbing. (After all, you wouldn’t have an angry character suddenly punch someone in the face without showing his anger building up, right?

The Emotional Thesaurus does a great job listing symptoms of sadness to help you start small and gradually escalate.

32 responses so far

32 Responses to “Writing Tip of the Day: Be Careful With Crying Characters”

  1. Marissaon 11 Jul 2009 at 11:15 am

    Sorry about the massive delay in fixing it up, I couldn’t figure out how to work the controls. (A good reason you should never put me at the wheel of a plane.)

  2. Luna Jamniaon 11 Jul 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I think this is a great first-article. And you do have a point. (I’m not biased because you’re my friend, am I?)

  3. Marissaon 11 Jul 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Maybe a little, but I appreciate the sentiment either way. Glad to know it was useful. 😀

  4. Don 12 Jul 2009 at 3:09 pm

    You already know that I think this is awesome:) Great job, and I really liked that link to the Emotion Thesaurus.

  5. Lighting Manon 12 Jul 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Interesting article, it had a lot of good points and that thesaurus link was particularly handy, so very nicely done.

    Something I’ve always found to be powerful and moving when handled correctly is crying in situations that don’t call for it or expectedly, especially when it is used as a cliffhanger for a short period, such as a chapter in a novel or at the end of a monthly comic book. This power hinges on the reader not possessing exacting knowledge of what caused the outburst, so I’d strongly advise against having the narrator or lead POV as the emotive one, unless your skills have been proven to such a degree that you and your thousands or millions of faithful readers can trust you to properly handle an unreliable narrator.

    If you lack that many fans, do not attempt an unreliable narrator, because as this web site has stated strongly dozens of times, it isn’t coy, it isn’t smart, it’s just frustrating if you aren’t a strong enough writer to handle it.

    Again, I thought this article was great, as it pointed out the various hazards, offered solutions and didn’t rule out usage entirely.

  6. Marissaon 12 Jul 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Yeah, D and Lightning Man, the Emotion Thesaurus is very very handy.

    Thank you, Lightning Man, for your support.

    The crying you’re describing might work, yeah, as long as there is a reason, even if it isn’t known. But you did well in advising people to be careful. What may seem like a good reason to them might seem stupid to the reader (“BUT HER FATHER DIED TEN YEARS AGO AND SHE JUST NOW THOUGHT ABOUT IT AGAIN,” in an otherwise happy scene, for example).

    What I was referring to is when a character would naturally be sad. If the author heads straight to crying, that glosses over the whole emotional process, and the reader feels gypped.

  7. angelaon 20 Nov 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I have to agree–actual crying is often a one way ticket to skim reading or cliches. Or both. Much better to accurately describe what is causing the intense desire to cry so the reader feels the same ache and can empathize, and of course, the MC’s struggle to keep from giving in and dissolving into tears.

    Thanks for mentioning my Emotion Thesaurus!

  8. i88on 01 May 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Good point on the crying. I’ve only cried at a novel twice in my life and it wasn’t when the main protagonist was drowning in their own tears. It was when a main character died in first person and there was so many melachony thoughts going around that it just brought me to tears. The second time is when the dog dies in a book and it was there for the longest time and I’m an animal lover so that didn’t help the water works.

    I read a book once where the main character cried for AN ENTIRE CHAPTER! I’m not joking. I think the book was pulled off the market or something but it was almost to the point of annoyance and hilarity because the reason for crying was so stupid: their boy friend of two weeks broke up with them. I can understand if it was their boyfriend of two years but that was ridiculous.

  9. B. Macon 01 May 2010 at 5:47 pm

    I didn’t cry, but today I found the death of a minor character in Play Dead pretty moving. The hero is trying to save him from drowning in a sinking school bus and has his hands on him, so you think it might happen, but the character has his football pads on and can’t fit through the window.

  10. Wingson 01 May 2010 at 6:03 pm

    In my humble opinion, crying should not occur at the drop of the hat (unless, of course, the character is extremely over the top and it’s being played for laughs as opposed to seriously). I, for one, find it a lot more meaningful if the crying is coming from a character who wouldn’t normally be doing so and for a justifiable reason. I figure if the event is sad enough for a character to cry, the reader should be doing the same.

    I think I’ve had…one crying scene between my various books. Considering that it happened when a mind controlled character almost killed their love interest, I think it’s acceptable.

    – Wings

  11. B. Macon 01 May 2010 at 6:23 pm

    “I, for one, find it a lot more meaningful if the crying is coming from a character who wouldn’t normally be doing so.” You know what they say about Chuck Norris’ tears.

  12. Wingson 02 May 2010 at 12:34 pm

    I’d like to see a crying badass character who manages to be badass through his tears. That would be simultaneously heartwarming and crazy awesome.

    – Wings

  13. B. Macon 02 May 2010 at 12:57 pm

    I was thinking about doing a cover for a later SN issue focused on a headshot of Agent Orange crying. In the reflection on his glasses, I’d show something like the ruins of a city. I don’t think it would be thematically on-cue, though. The cover would be far too dark for this series and, in any case, I don’t think that I have it in me to write a city getting annihilated or put something on the cover that doesn’t actually happen. One old trope of covers was that the cover would feature some outlandish event on the cover and then reveal in-story that it was a simulation on a computer screen or a dream or a hallucination.

    Maybe Agent Orange softly crying with a reflection of Agent Black or Agent Black’s tombstone or Agent Black’s wounded body or a flag-draped coffin or something like that. Obviously that would have to be later in the series, at some point when AO isn’t fervently hoping for AB’s departure.

    Speaking of devastation and unlikely crying, I had a friend at Notre Dame that was in a military/DOD high school overseas. On September 11, the school cut access to the internet and TV and the only thing his class knew was a third-hand rumor that “New York got hit.” A lot of people were crying because they assumed it was nuclear.

  14. Rachel Mon 15 Oct 2010 at 7:52 am

    I cried when I read the last Harry Potter book. (SPOILER!) You know, when Dobby died.

  15. Dillanon 15 Oct 2010 at 9:44 am

    Anyone ever read/watch Elfen lied that manga/anime is painfully sad I can barely describe it, I watched it to get a perspective on dramatic writting. Once you watch and granted shift through the strangeness (usually just cultural differences)one can truely enjoy the story being told.

  16. Madaliason 15 Oct 2010 at 11:49 am

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a character cry. If a character would cry in a given situation, then I think the character should cry.

    However, I think it’s important to remember that it isn’t your character crying that makes the reader feel sadness. It’s the situation. If the reader isn’t invested in the situation, they aren’t going to feel sad no matter how graphically you describe your character’s sobbing.

    IN fact, the /more/ your character grieves for a situation that the reader doesn’t care about (or only marginally cares about) then the /less/ sympathetic the reader is going to be.

    Personally I’d much rather read about a character who honestly sobs or bawls in the face of tragedy, than to read about some ridiculous single tear or unbelievable stoicism. (I really really hate that stupid single tear. If my heroine has reason to cry she’s going to cry like a real woman with choking sobs and snot and all. I would rather have that than give her that messed up single tear running from her crystal cerulean orbs down her perfect cheek. *gags* Give me honest crying and then she can go kick arse or whatever afterward…. but I digress.)

    Anyway. I think grief is fine– demonstrated in an appropriate manner for that particular character– when the situation warrants it. But you just can’t expect your reader to be sad /just/ because your character is, or just because you described the crying at length or oh so poetically. It’s best not to waste time trying to tug heartstrings with the description of the crying, because it’s the tragedy that caused them to cry that matters, not the fact that they cried or didn’t cry.

    Also you don’t have to belabor the description of the crying. You can end scene at the height of the tragedy and resume the action when the action actually resumes. We don’t have to read long passages of the sobbing or even long passages of the character “remembering” her sorrow. If the character really was destroyed by grief for some extended period I’d rather have all that moping take place “off camera” so to speak and let us pick up again at the moment that she begins to pull herself together again.

  17. The Jedi Penguinon 02 Feb 2011 at 5:46 pm

    It’s been far too long since I’ve been here…

    Hmm, this is of interest to me as I have one character who has a tendency to cry, and I’m planning on having a character cry some in another story…

    The first guy, Lorenzo (Lorri for short), is kind of sensitive. He gts hurt easily and will show it if he gets enough beating, especially if it’s about something he’s proud of such as his cooking. (He is the cook on a pirate ship and to him, food is Serious Business, and he onsiders himself a very good cook.)

    The second is a romance story. Modern day, college age characters. Basically, the girl (Aria) has been dating one guy (who needs a name) for several months, and has convinced herself that she’s in love with him, and wants to marry him, and he seems to feel the same way. She’s poured much of herself ino this relationship. Then… she finds him making out with someone else, and is absolutly crushed. She tries to hold back her pain but upon running into anoter guy (Brad) whom she’s been good friends with for months she breaks down. Hmm, a bit cliche, but I like it.

  18. Crystalon 11 Jun 2011 at 11:40 am

    Ooh, great article! See, something that I have often overlooked in my other stories is that many of my main characters are just kids. They’re going to cry at times.
    I know that it depends on the age. Younger kids cry more easily than adults. But, I had a few questions…

    1. The one thing that I don’t see a lot of in books/TV is crying in pain. Again, I know that this depends on the age. If an adult breaks an arm, he’d probably grit his teeth and maybe wince in pain, but a little kid would be wailing. That aside, my characters range in age from 12 to 15. They’re probably going to receive some serious injuries over the course of the book. Is there any way that I can make them cry in pain without making them look like serious wimps?

    2. Um, also, I know that boys don’t cry as easily as girls, but is there any way to have a male character cry without making him seem weak? Like, Adam is pretty fragile (emotionally and physically), and he has some pretty good excuses for crying (just lost his home, doesn’t even know where his family is, at any given time could hurt his friends, has just killed a bunch of people without knowing it…The list goes on), but is it possible to have him cry openly without it being too pathetic?

    3. How would you comfort someone who’s crying? I know that with sometimes, it’s usually just a matter of stroking a person’s hair and saying, “Shh, it’ll be okay…”, but what would you do for someone who’s seriously hysterical? If they told you to leave them alone, would you do it, or would you go over and comfort them?

    4.There’s always that one stoic person…The one who’s always there for you to lean on, who’ll help you out, no matter what…What would it take for a person like this to break? On my team, it’s Daniel. He’s been through a lot. He’ll always push his team to the limits, and Rebecca doesn’t seem to like him much. I was thinking that the best way for him to seem human is to have him quietly crying in the middle of the night, after everyone else is asleep. Thing is, I can’t think of a single thing that would scare him that badly…Maybe if one of the other characters almost died…?

    Yeah, sorry for the length of this…I just really need a lot of help!

  19. Mynaon 11 Jun 2011 at 5:44 pm

    “1. The one thing that I don’t see a lot of in books/TV is crying in pain. Again, I know that this depends on the age. If an adult breaks an arm, he’d probably grit his teeth and maybe wince in pain, but a little kid would be wailing. That aside, my characters range in age from 12 to 15. They’re probably going to receive some serious injuries over the course of the book. Is there any way that I can make them cry in pain without making them look like serious wimps?”
    * It really depends on how bad the injury is. If someone got shot, I won’t rail on them if they’re crying, especially if they’re only a teenager. I think most teens have too much pride to cry even if the injury is bad, however, but they might anyway, so maybe the character would be blinking back tears and trying to hide that they were crying. Considering that it was crying from sheer pain, though, and not angst; I don’t think it’d be a problem. (So long as they’re not howling like crazy.)

    “3. How would you comfort someone who’s crying? I know that with sometimes, it’s usually just a matter of stroking a person’s hair and saying, “Shh, it’ll be okay…”, but what would you do for someone who’s seriously hysterical? If they told you to leave them alone, would you do it, or would you go over and comfort them?”
    * It depends. There was this one really good book I read recently with a male MC who was trying not to cry, and he was shaking and tearing up backed up against a wall, and he yelled at his uncle to leave. His uncle swore he wouldn’t, you know, “I’m not gonna leave you again,” kinda deal, and in the story it was pretty heartwarming. The uncle knew his nephew needed him, so he stayed. That’s probably why a character would stay with their friend even if they screamed at them to get out.

    “4.There’s always that one stoic person…The one who’s always there for you to lean on, who’ll help you out, no matter what…What would it take for a person like this to break? On my team, it’s Daniel. He’s been through a lot. He’ll always push his team to the limits, and Rebecca doesn’t seem to like him much. I was thinking that the best way for him to seem human is to have him quietly crying in the middle of the night, after everyone else is asleep. Thing is, I can’t think of a single thing that would scare him that badly…Maybe if one of the other characters almost died…?”
    * You don’t need to have your characters crying to show that they can break. This is a bit cliche, but maybe he wakes up at night screaming with these awful nightmares. That’s something out of his control, but would show that he’s starting to lose it.

    Hope this helped! :3

  20. Crystalon 11 Jun 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Yep, that definitely helped! Thanks!

  21. Sakitaon 20 Nov 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I’m not sure i totally agree with this. It is true that if a character cries to much, it becomes annoying, but i saw a show once, with a character who seemed antisocial and a total ass. But in one scene, when he screams out in madness, he has one tear falling over his face. That was actually totally unexpected, and it gave the character (who was a villan) a softer side.

  22. acharaon 21 Nov 2012 at 1:07 pm

    Great article!
    I find it very difficult o show strong emotions with my characters without it leading into wangst or boring kind of sobbing, but this helped hugely. I also think that a character getting angry with their grief, or reacting violently, is far more interesting.
    For example, so far I have three death scenes in my first novel. In the first, Alejandra dies in an action scene after holding her own for quite some time. Her mentor Kane reacts by killing her murderer despite numerous wounds and then pulling her body and her protegee Vaughn out of the way of enemy fire. He doesn’t break down, doesn’t cry, but to tell Vaughn to make sure she gets Alejandra’s body out safely, then to meet him at an.agreed location. He then goes to take out the rest of the gang that attacked them and killed Alejandra
    In the two death scene, Vaughn’s own mentor is being mind controlled into releasing Armegaddon and she has to stop him — somehow. She shoots him in the head. I think the only physical indication of their grief or indecision are the tears blurring her vision that she has to account for in her aim, and his eyes shining a little.
    But I don’t like the ‘one tear’ variant, because it’s unrealistic. In my experience (with the death of my dog, my parents and my friend) once the tears start coming, they don’t stop.

  23. Piercie Shieldson 10 Nov 2013 at 6:01 am

    Personally, I think that you shouldn’t shove in crying nor completely avoid crying just for the sake of “hooking a reader” or making them feel emotion. The best way to do that is to have characters react realistically. With their personalities, what would they say to this situation? What would they do? How would they feel? Maybe they WOULD just cry at the drop of a hat? I don’t think that overly emotional characters should only be for “purposely funny purposes” because let’s admit it – we all know someone like that. I’ve got at least one or two friends who will cry out of the blue without having a proper explanation until afterwards.

    You shouldn’t just avoid an honest personality because you’re afraid the reader won’t take it seriously. Quite frankly, I prefer it when a writer builds up all their characters realistically. If you’ve got a bipolar main character, I somehow don’t think they’re going to slowly switch between happy and sad with all sorts of heavy thought processes between it – that’s nonsense you’ve shoved in to make the reader feel worse, and it has a negative effect because many readers notice what you’re doing and start to question whether or not other scenes in the book actually fit the characters.

    It leaves plot holes. It makes for a bad read and an author that’s obviously trying too hard; I’ve actually stopped reading books because of its author trying to shove copious amounts of ‘word emotion’ in to ‘build up’ to a character’s emotion (usually by describing what just happened (again) from their PoV or tyring to say they ‘remembered what happened’) without having the character themselves actually show that emotion beyond gritting their teeth now and again – it’s just the narrator trying to get the reader to feel bad, and it’s silly. If the character would cry in that situation, have them cry! Hell, I know I’d be on my knees in tears throughout 3/4 of the books I’ve read if I was the main character.

    I’d have to say the biggest offenders of this are apocalypse writers. Aw man. Oh, you’re surrounded by zombies that smell like rotting bodies? I’m going to describe that so the reader cringes, but you’re not going to puke even though anybody in that situation would! (Considering, you know, even hardened cops often vomit at their first contact with a half decomposing body.) Oh, your entire family just died, including your spouse, kid, and dog? Well, you’re going to watch it and then dedicate yourself to revenge without shedding a single tear, even though you’ll cry a river later on in the book when your post-apocalypse girlfriend dies! It just makes it humorous, and the emotion is lost to anyone who notices it.

    That said, I don’t think every character should just up and cry. They should react how their backstory, personality, and characterization leads them to, and there’s nothing wrong with their reactions changing through the story (dynamic characters). Just make sure that it fits with how the character is, and do build up to it properly if it’s a situation where a lot of thoughts are going through the character’s heads, etc.

  24. B. McKenzieon 10 Nov 2013 at 10:09 am

    I’ve got at least one or two friends who will cry out of the blue without having a proper explanation until afterwards.”

    1) There are a variety of behaviors which happen in real life which I would generally not recommend for main characters in fiction (e.g. in real life, 90%+ of dialogue is mundane and forgettable, whereas fictional dialogue should generally be sharper and wittier). I would argue that spontaneously crying is probably one of them, unless there is some really good reason readers will be able to follow what’s going on with the character (e.g. if the character is bipolar, it’ll make more sense to readers because we know there’s a cause here for very unusual behavior). If readers have no idea why this character is bursting into tears besides just that he/she is just melodramatic, I suspect it would get pretty frustrating pretty quickly.

    2) Even if your readers do know people that spontaneously burst into tears for little-if-any apparent reason, would these readers actually want to read about one as a main character? Or would they find the character annoyingly over-dramatic? (Probably not as much of an issue for a side-character, but even then, I will note that Skyler White got a LOT of hate from Breaking Bad viewers over seasons 1 and 2).

    “let’s admit it – we all know someone like that.”
    2.1) This may be a guy thing, but I don’t know someone who spontaneously cries. Even Jesus smited people & demons at least 4 times as often as he wept in the Bible, and he’s not exactly a Die Hard action hero.

    3) With first contact with a half decomposing body, a family dying, or a girlfriend getting killed, I think readers would cut the character some slack on an emotional reaction, though personally, tears probably wouldn’t be the first thing that came to mind (especially for a male character). For example, if a guy suffers posttraumatic stress, flashbacks, emotional numbness, and sudden bouts of anger or irritability are a lot more common than tears. I haven’t heard of tears being a common symptom for clinical depression in men, either. (It may be very different for ladies, I’m not sure).

  25. Christopheron 17 Feb 2015 at 12:49 am

    I would say the best kind of crying character (or, to state differently, the one time where crying pays off in the story) would be someone who is known to NEVER show any emotion whatsoever, not so much as one sympathetic sniffle. To the point where it’s almost a comical cliché. It could be a bitter, sarcastic villain type, or someone who is so stoic and proud of themselves, you wonder if they’re even fully human.

    I think having a character cry works best when it comes as total surprise to viewers… in a pivotal moment where the person thought to be the LEAST emotional character in the story suddenly becomes the MOST emotional of all. They’ve kept they’re feelings bottled up for a good many volumes, chapters, or seasons throughout the journey, and now, they’re forced to deal with those emotions for once. That’s where it pays off to see a character cry.

    The ‘crying’ character should be the character that ‘never’ cries.

  26. Bob Goddardon 28 Feb 2015 at 7:42 am

    There are some occasions, surely, when tears are exactly the right way to show a character’s anguish? We want our characters to be lifelike, right? And people cry sometimes, don’t they?
    Yes, it is a cop-out to use tears instead of proper descriptive prose, or to blub for no reason, but in a situation of extreme duress, where any normal human would leak water from their eyes, to deny this to your characters is forced and unrealistic.
    There are also some occasions where tears are the result of some other emotional or hormonal circumstance – a five-months-pregnant woman being told she must remain on the Moon for the birth of her baby, for example, or a woman in the throes of a mental breakdown – both of which feature in my latest novel.
    To lay down rules that make your characters inhuman or superhuman when that clearly is not the case would be a mistake, in my opinion.
    In the world that I inhabit people sometimes cry when under extreme emotional pressure, so I see no reason to forbid my protagonists the occasional tear.

  27. Trishaon 05 Jun 2015 at 8:03 am

    I really like your post, and agree that some writers need to hear this because they struggle with the “Show; don’t tell” rule (Antov Chekhov bby), which is almost always always always the way to go. However, there are times when crying /is/ showing rather than telling about a character’s emotion. Sometimes when a character cries, it’s the breaking point for me as well.

    When a character who is always strong, only letting emotion out is small ways when it starts to become too much (like punching a mirror, getting drunk for a night, etc.), is finally hit by such a powerful loss, or is tortured so badly, that they finally succumb and let heart wrenching sobs consume them, it’s like stabbing the reader in the heart. In this case, the tears are far, far more painful to us than punching a wall or any of the other symptoms of grief or pain.

    It all depends on which reaction will draw the most emotion out of the reader for that specific character. If a character is known to be a bit of a crybaby, or is expected to be, having the character refuse to show much emotion at all might be just as heartbreaking. But crying is definitely not always going to lose the reader’s sympathy.

    Sorry I didn’t read the other replies, so I likely repeated something. Your post is good but there’s a helluva lot you didn’t think about.

    (Oh also thank you for the emotional thesaurus that’s going to come in handy)

  28. Annaon 24 Jan 2016 at 6:54 am

    I think most of what you said is true. And the worst of it – in general, it’s always the girls that are crying.
    Nur it doesn’t have to be bad in every case. Best example: The fault in our stars.
    When Hazel knows that Gus is dead, she starts crying in her bed … wearing his t-shirt … *cough* … I automatically started to cry.

  29. Tomason 13 Apr 2016 at 8:11 am

    What about a character that is already crying and then calms down? How can I make a realistic scale from a sobbing mess to a more-or-less collected person???

  30. […] Killing a character will also open up opportunities for different sorts of characterization and character interactions. The way that the deceased faced their own death may be used to make a statement about them. Likewise, the way that other characters react may be telling. Consider the complexities of how each character regarded the deceased before they died. Not everyone is going to be sad, and there may be a lot of mixed feelings. Figure out how each character feels (Upset? Conflicted? Vindicated?) and how they would personally choose to express these feelings–hint: it isn’t always going to be tears. […]

  31. Cat-vacuumer Supremeon 15 Sep 2016 at 9:40 am

    Well, you could have their sobs lessen as they think “Don’t cry. Don’t cry. Don’t cry. (Character) needs you, stop crying.”

  32. Cat-vacuumer Supremeon 15 Sep 2016 at 11:07 am

    My MC cries a few times in the story. When her parents die, she runs away and finds Earth. She isn’t sobbing, just wailing until Earth distracts her. She’s about 11 at the time. After that she pretty much comes to terms with her grief living on the Earth before Humans. When she lives among Humans for the first time, she almost cries (mostly off-camera) a few times when her adopted sister asks about her parents. When her sister dies to save her, my MC cries for a little before pulling herself together. The second to last time is when she’s buried her memories, powers, and pretty much everything that makes her different from Humans and the memories of her parents’ and sister’s death hit her. Do you think this is okay? I’m not really sure.

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