The abbreviated edition:
“Anna spoke not only naturally and intelligently, but intelligently and casually, without attaching any value to her own thoughts, yet giving great value to the thoughts of the one she was talking to.”
Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Anna Karenina
And then she fell under a train.
Everybody was very sad.
-- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
This blogger's addendum:
Except Anna's children grew up with a half of them still a part of her, and half of her a part of them, and this part would remain alive and shine brightly beyond all despair, hardships or even time.
Like her, they would follow their own truth, but would be carried along with an invisible strength -- a courage which only springs from having been loved by someone with such an open and loving heart. They would know how to follow the faintest echoes of her lingering warmth and laughter all the days of their life. Echoes of Anna were her final gift, yet, one they were not even aware of. It was only evident when they listened to their vaguest memory of her voice and touch when they realized which paths to follow by the voice in their heart.
And in time there would be no family, or regime or withering stare which could ever succeed again quieting what still remained of Anna. A spirit refusing to die, even at her own hands.
Anna and her children would remain forever bound by an inner silver thread connecting all three of their hearts. She would be the distant star, shining brightly in the cold, black sky. Forever bright, no matter how far the distance: This invisible tether of love remaining her final gift which could never be lost twice.
In the end, only those who's lack of kindness and humanity toward Anna would truly feel the gravity of their actions when mirrored back to them in the eyes of her beloved children.
And this, too, would be her final gift to them in return for their small, cruel choices. And what they cost the world.
Okay -- It's sappy, I know. But the best thing about fiction is being able to alter that which is otherwise unbearable.