Hey Babe -
So, I started watching TV again--like sitting in the living room and watching some of our shows by myself. There were a few shows that got deleted, and I thought you watched them without me and then deleted them, but later I realized the DVR probably auto deleted older recordings since it was full and needed to make room for new recordings since I hadn't watched much TV in the last couple of months. Yes, I was annoyed and cursed you a few times under my breath until it occurred to me that it must be the DVR auto deleting shows to make space. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying, “SY, you always blame me for everything!!” (Some of the shows that were deleted came on after you passed, so unless your spirit deleted it, it was plausible that the DVR auto deleted it! I guess you escape blame this time!!)
You know how I always cry at the drop of a dime when I’m watching movies and shows?! You called me 'waterworks.' When a tear jerker scene is about to come on, you watch me instead of the TV to see how I would react. When I start balling, you would give me that smile of yours and say, “It's waterworks time!” Although you found it endearing, it never stopped you from making fun of me though! You’d always say, “I’ve never met anybody who cries at everything she watches." Fine!! I’ll tell everybody that I cried watching Kung Fu Panda!! Are you happy now?! (I know you're laughing in that boisterous laughter of yours right now!! You loved it when you have me cornered.) Since I wasn’t watching a lot of TV in the living room, to occupy my evenings (besides writing you), I started watching Netflix on my laptop in bed (our bedroom has been my safe haven since you passed, it’s the one room where we just sleep in and don’t really hang out in--so, it was my safe space). I started watching a lot of movies on grief. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment!! (I actually had to look up that phrase, so I could get it right since you aren’t here to correct me anymore. Yes, I know, I’m like Ziva from NCIS, since I always butcher these phrases like she does on the show). Anyways, one of the movies I started watching was about a widow, and 10 mins into the movie when she finds her husband’s lifeless body, I had to stop. It was too much, too soon. I ended up watching a few movies about the grief of losing a father. But, in actuality, grief is everywhere in all the shows we watch, and it happens everyday and to everybody; nobody is immune to it. I guess, it just never hit as hard as it does now. Even though I cry all the time when I’m watching shows and movies, it hits me differently now. Now, when I see grief on TV, I can feel their pain in my heart and stomach. I know firsthand, the pain and sadness they feel. One of the movies I watched was Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a story about a husband and father who dies in the world trade center on September 11th. The focal storyline of the movie was how the son deals with the grief of losing his father, but indirectly the movie also subtly touched on the wife's grief of losing her husband. There was a scene where the wife (Sandra Bullock) is crying hysterically. It was probably only 30 seconds long, but in that instance, I could feel the depth of her pain and sadness. I felt it in my heart and in my gut. I knew the thoughts that were racing through her mind. How helpless and hopeless she felt. How, even after a year, she was still in shock and disbelief that this was her story--that this was her life. I was riding the roller coaster with her, and I felt every emotion she felt, even though the scene was only 30 seconds long. This was an experience I wish I didn’t know anything about. Even watching patients die on Grey’s Anatomy hits me differently and harder now. (Talking about Grey’s Anatomy, there’s a spin-off called Station 19 with Villa from Rosewood. Villa is the new Shondra Rhimes’ heroine--I wonder if it will be good or not. I think it’s something you would watch even though it’s a Grey’s Anatomy spin-off because of Villa! I wonder if they will bring Morris Chestnut on the show--you know, I would be hooked on phonics then!! I even figured out how to set the DVR to record the show since that was something you always did. This was the first time in the 14+ years we’ve been together that I set a recording on the DVR! You’d be proud!!) Anyways, come to think of it, even Disney movies depict death; like the The Lion King and the new Pixar movie CoCo. Death is everywhere, it’s even in cartoons. It’s inevitable like the monk said. But, when I see it now, it hits me differently, and I feel it so much deeper than I ever did before. (I was finally able to finish watching or should I say, I was finally able to watch the widow movie that I started with Annette Bening called the Face of Love while I was in China--where grief was non-existent for me. Where I didn't feel the pain and sadness so deeply that I was able to get through the movie.)
I feel like watching these movies on grief helps me process my own pain and sadness from another's perspective. Talking with your dad these last few days have helped as well. He said some things that hits home and helps to reinforce what the therapist said, “It doesn’t get better. It’s just different.” Maybe I’ll never get over your death, and you’ll be on a perpetual business trip for the rest of my life, and that’s okay too. I don’t have to get over your death or have all the answers to continue living and moving forward with life. I just have to keep moving and go wherever the journey takes me. I just have to keep smiling because it happened and continue dancing in the rain. We can’t choose what life throws at us, but we can choose how we deal with it.
A grieving widow who is trying to find meaning and purpose from her tragic event.