Serious Content Alert. Actually, this is more like a “have a box of tissues handy” alert. If you have ever seen the movie, “We Are Marshall”, you can guess what might be coming. There are times when you are struggling with an intense emotional loss, whether that is for a person, a beloved pet, a change in your life, that you do need to just sit down and cry – I mean bawling, sloppy, don’t want anyone to see you cry. It is often cathartic, and tiring, perhaps to the point of exhaustion, but it can also be a release of unarticulated emotion that is best drained from you. The reason that I say to watch this movie for effect is that it deals superbly with the range of grief that people experience and with the conflict of trying to move on without seeming to forget. Finding that balance after a profound loss is difficult and can wear on you at a subconscious level.
“We Are Marshall” is about the tragic airplane crash in November 1970 where 75 people were lost. Among the losses were nearly the entire Marshall University football team, coaches, flight crew, numerous fans, and supporters. There were opposing views as to whether or not the football team could be rebuilt and if the university should do so. I don’t have any idea of how accurate the movie is as to how individuals reacted, but what I do know is the half dozen or so means of coping with the tragedy that they showed is accurate. It is a movie that speaks to the pain, to the struggle of what to do with the pain, and how to get past it. I have posted before about how grief for loss certainly has common elements, yet it is also individualized. The timeline in which life can return to “normal” is highly variable as is the very definition of “normal”. When you have suffered whatever the trauma is, you will be dealing with a “new normal”, a new part of your life, perhaps dramatically so. And sometimes in coming to grips with that, a good cry will help.