19 July 2007

Good Grief

*SPOILER ALERT* I am about to tell you the ending of Bridge to Terebithia.

Last night I went to see Bridge to Terebithia with Eric. My fifth grade teacher read the book to our class, and I had read it one other time as well. So, I knew that Leslie died in the end. And I cried. Two tears fell down my face, and I was embarrassed so I made myself stop crying, which is pretty much what I always do because I’m just not a crier. I hate crying. I hate being puffy-faced. I hate people knowing that I’m sad (or happy).

In this particular movie my sadness stemmed more from Jesse’s grief than from Leslie’s death. Sure, I like Leslie, but only as much as I liked Jesse, which can only be so much considering they are both fictional characters. But grief- that’s something I can identify with. I may not know Leslie or Jess, but I’ve felt grief.

And I’ve felt annoyed when people don’t want you to grieve. Janssen wrote on this recently, and I read an article in Time about it. People don’t want you to be sad. And so they console or avoid mentioning names because they feel that reminding you would be a bad thing. But really, being reminded of someone you’ve lost (even if they are gone) is a nice feeling. Sure there may be a feeling of loneliness or sadness which accompanies the happy reminder, but I think it’s usually worth it. Forgetting a person you loved is far worse than remembering them and being sad.

Of course, I’ve been on the other side of the spectrum as well- feeling awkward or wanting to avoid mentioning a lost loved one. It has been only recently that I’ve realized it’s okay to talk about dead people. Usually the living people are pleased that you also remember the dead person and that you are acknowledging that the deceased person is worth remembering.
These are things I thought about as I watched Jesse struggle to accept that Leslie was dead and as he struggled with his feelings of guilt and loneliness.

No comments: