Explanation of the Causeway ending

Like many medical professionals involved in physical and mental health, Sharon is an invaluable assistant in Lindsey’s journey to recovery. In addition to providing the wounded veteran with transportation, shelter, food, and life skills training, the nurse provides a quiet, unbiased refuge from the world.

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Overwhelmed by a nightmare or traumatic memory, Linsey finds Sharon ready. A nurse comforts an injured veteran, comforts her when she vomits, and keeps her in the present with an assisted shower. When Lynsey thoughtlessly remarks that Sharon’s life seems terrible, the nurse doesn’t even flinch, immediately forgiving the inappropriate outburst of the struggling patient.

Also, like many of the physical and mental care workers people come across, the moment Lynsey has advanced enough to move on, she leaves Sharon behind forever. The audience—and Lynsey herself—will never see or hear from Sharon again. The Causeway never comments on this. The film doesn’t linger on their last moment together or mourn it.

This relatively uncommented transition serves two purposes. First, it speaks to what will be Linsey’s most visible struggle throughout the film – to create an emotionally healthy relationship in the present, rather than just obsessing over “running away” back to active duty. Second, he shows how small triumphs and tragedies usually go hand in hand in recovery. Lindsey has given so much back in her time with Sharon, but as a result, she can no longer hold on to this woman who was so extremely, albeit briefly, important in her life.

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