Good (or bad?) grief

What’s with so many sad movies lately? Seriously. In November I got a free pass to go see a movie. I went to see 50/50, because the previews made it look like a good movie. Sitting through it though, I couldn’t help but break into tears. For those of you who don’t know, 50/50 is a movie about a young man battling cancer, and 50/50 are his odds of beating it. During good movies, people think about things, think about the movie they’re watching, and how it relates to their current life. While watching 50/50, all I could think about was my grandfather. A year before watching the movie, we didn’t even know he had cancer, and a year later, well, a year later, and he had been six feet down for almost 7 months.

Not long after 50/50, I went to see Restless. It was an independent flick about two young people who become friends. It says nothing in the description about the young girl having cancer. So what do I think about during the movie? The fact that it took a mere six months for cancer to take away yet another part of my family. Thus come the tears, and the ultimate shitty feeling of leaving the theatre feeling an immense sadness.

And then that brings me to last night. I went to go see The Descendants. I hadn’t been all that turned on to it, and couldn’t even really tell what it was about. I had heard good reviews though and it seemed like the kind of movie that could maybe get an Oscar nod come February. So I thought I’d check it out. It was a free movie pass and I had nothing to kill but time. SPOILER: In the movie George Clooney spends the whole movie trying to prepare for his wife’s passing. They take her off life support and wait for her to die.

This was another movie where I left the theater not only wanting to not be alone, but it sort of made me want to take something and sleep for a very long time. The movies above left me with an impending sense of sadness that I really can’t shake. I mean by the time I get home and finally go to sleep, I feel fine the next morning. But the night, oh the night of, it’s something different. And I can’t help but wonder if this is my bass akwards way of grieving my grandfathers loss.

Grieving for me has always been a tricky little mistress. When I was fifteen and my grandmother died, I was just sad. I was sad for a long time, until one day I wasn’t. In a perfect world, that is exactly how grief should work. It should come with a simple beginning, middle and end. Yet it doesn’t. As I get older and am forced to face overly sad situations– that I only wished to avoid—it’s never an in your face type thing. It never announces itself and comes in, and then politely leaves after due time. It comes in and becomes the big elephant in the middle of the room also known as life. It’s never how I feel it should be. When my grandfather passed I was taken back by how deep my sadness didn’t run. Sure it sucked, and made things gloomy, but going on with life was easier than I had thought it would be. I loved my grandfather and didn’t need months of depression to know that. But just the same, I was bothered by the lack of massive sadness that I felt. But then grief decides to show up. It’s in the moments when life is happening in the little moments. It becomes one of those things that sneaks up behind you in the Wal-Mart parking lot while you’re sitting in your car. One minute you’re going to go buy milk, the next minute you’re hyperventilating and sobbing your eyes out in the driver’s seat of your car.

Life continues to go on, and everything is fine, until you hear or see something that reminds you of a gap that’s been left in your life, and as fine as you were before, now you’re not. Luckily, however grief works, my moments of sadness are easily out measured by all the other moments. Whatever reason I have to be sad about anything (truly, there’s not much), they are over shadowed by all the good things going on.


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