Movies and Grief

I'm not sure if you've watched The Lord of the Rings Trilogy lately, but I have to tell you, it taught me a lot about grief. That might sound odd, but that's how my brain works. Before my daughter's murder, I only saw the fantasy of it all; now, I merely see the struggles and what it takes to survive.

Not to get too deep into the story (in case you haven't seen them yet), but it's about Frodo, a decent enough hobbit, living his best life. And without warning or his permission, his life changes just like that. His beloved cousin vanishes, leaving Frodo with a terrible burden to carry while enduring the struggles and triumphs that, in the end, will forever change his life. Okay, now that I've read that aloud, I'm pretty sure that sounds like almost every movie. Anyway. I found just about everything that happened during these films somehow relatable to my tragedy, and I'll pick two examples that stuck out to me. 

Let's start with when Frodo finally meets the elves after his grueling journey from the shire. Frodo expresses his concern to one of the most beautiful and powerful elves about how he can't do this task alone. Boy, every time I watch this part, I cry, and it doesn't help when she states that if he doesn't find a way, that no one will. This scene couldn't have depicted my inner turmoil any better if I'd created it myself. I mean, seriously, it's an acceptance that no one should have to face. But that's the reality of grief - no one can walk the walk for you.

The other example that keeps me nodding my head is Frodo's enemies. I mean, this poor hobbit. In any direction he turns, giant spiders, evil wizards, and dark lords are trying to get him off course. And that's only naming a few, but he just keeps going like the Energizer bunny. Admittedly, it seems a little over the top sometimes all the hurdles, but when I look at my grief, it couldn't be more gut-punching accurate. 

And that's because the process of coping and healing is unpredictable from one day to the next. One minute I'm celebrating freeing myself from that ooey-gooey spider web, and the next, another monster is chasing me. 

Although there isn't a magic spell to cure or rush grief, Frodo's perseverance is undeniable. Sure, he has to get to the end of the movie, and my heartache will take time, but it's helped teach me to get back up when I fall and continue my journey one day at a time.