At the almost end of the movie ‘Castaway’, there’s the scene where Tom Hanks has built his own raft and he’s set off on it after spending 1500 days marooned on an island. Even as he’s sailing away through the ruthless waves, watching the island shrink away in the distance, he feels a sadness for leaving the place that was his home all those years.

Wilson, his imaginary friend that is nothing but a deflated volleyball with a face painted on it, accompanies him. Throughout his days of isolation, it was Wilson who kept him sane as he confessed, complained and cried to it. At one point he even gets so mad he kicks Wilson away and then goes frantically searching for it.

Now they’re both on the raft, sailing on a sea to nowhere, hoping to be found and rescued. Hanks falls asleep and when he wakes up, Wilson is missing, floating away. He jumps in, holding the rope to the raft, and swims towards Wilson till he realizes that he has to choose between holding on to the rope and getting to Wilson. It’s so painful to watch, because you know it’s just an object and he has to do the sensible thing and get back to safety, which he does. But that doesn’t stop him from crying.

We all have our own version of Wilsons, an overly sentimental weight providing comfort but being of no use to us.

Let go of them, let go of Wilson and move on.

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