Movies and shows for grief

Watching Movies/Shows to Cope with Child Loss

As mentioned in a previous post, we found ourselves watching several movies and TV show series together in the weeks following the death of our son. There was something about being temporarily immersed in a different storyline, and doing so together, that helped the painful nights pass by.


We mostly watched lighthearted sitcoms, rom-coms, and Christmas movies (even in the middle of summer), but also connected with some heavier storylines and inspirational dramas.


We laughed and cried during these shows and movies.


There was one Madea movie that gave us a memorable belly laugh; it surprised us to know it was possible to laugh that hard while deep in the throes of our grief.


There was a drama about a young girl navigating the challenges of her nomadic family and alcoholic father, amidst her aspirations for stability and prosperity.


There was an inspirational film about a family who almost lost their toddler after already having experienced a miscarriage. And another film about the life-changing impact of a community covering a couple in kindness after losing their child.


There was a sitcom about a blended family navigating the everyday nuances of loving each other well.


And so many more stories.


Stories are fascinating.


Each person, each family has a story. Our stories will hopefully include times of great happiness, and they will unavoidably include some sort of suffering.


Our stories - in real life and in shows and movies - speak to the complexity and beauty of human life and emotions.


How do we steward and share our joy with others? How do we handle the everyday inconveniences that life can bring? How do we navigate times of suffering? How do we heal from trauma?


What stories will our lives tell?


We didn’t think that deeply about most of the storylines in the shows and movies we watched shortly after our son’s death. At the time, it mostly felt like a form of entertainment and a partial, temporary distraction from the weight of grief. But retrospectively, we see how there was tangible benefit in engaging with and learning from the cinematic stories.


These stories provided different perspectives on life as the characters navigated a myriad of challenges and circumstances. These stories also served as reminders of the positive, beautiful things in the world - things like the power of laughter as medicine, the power of demonstrating love and kindness even when it’s not reciprocated, and the power of the creative arts to connect with the human experience.  

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