I just watched the movie "Elizabethtown". I had asked a few friends about it, who had seen it a few years ago, and they had hated it. But today the kids were out in the snow, and I was doing some really boring work, so decided to pop it in anyway.
I have to say, I loved it - I could identify with very much of it, and it was a very cathartic experience for me. I've been in a process of realizing how much of the grieving process I had apparently put on hold, for various reasons, after my dad died. I didn't even realize I was doing it - but I did. Anyway, watching this movie - in all of its randomness, (that probably at a different time in my life I would have found annoying) completely connected with me today.
Watching the scenes of people doing weird things, because in their grief they just felt they had to...yep, I get that. The completely random flashbacks of childhood memories with his dad...totally understand. Dreams that are a weird mix of his dad and winning a million bucks...well, not exactly the same scenario, but yeah, done that, too. There's one part of the movie where the main character is on a 'road trip' with his dead father's ashes (you'll have to watch the movie if you really want to know...) and he's talking to his 'dad' - talking, laughing, yelling, and then bawling. I so relate to that. Though I haven't allowed myself such a flood of raw emotion in a while, the times I have indulged myself to let that flood happen, it does feel very healing after its over.
Grief is a fairly new thing to me. Most of my life growing up, I had never lost anyone close to me. My grandmother was the first, when I was about 24, and there have been several more losses since then, but obviously none as profoundly impactful as losing my dad. Don't get me wrong...I did do my 'initial' grieving, to a fairly good degree, but at some point, I inadvertently went into 'buck-up and deal mode' and just didn't really allow the process to continue. It's not like I'm falling apart on a daily basis now or anything, but I'm being much more sensitive to myself and trying to allow myself to fully 'feel' or 'experience' the emotions more when they do surface. Watching this movie today caused a lot to surface. Other times when I would feel the way I do right now, I would tell myself to stop having a pity party and move on. But right now, I'm not. I'm giving in, allowing myself to feel a little sad, remember my dad, and cry a bit. But the thing that's really weird is that I'm also feeling good about the things I accomplished today, enjoying the beauty of the snow, and looking forward to the evening. It's not at all like being depressed, at least as I have known that. It's a mingled feeling of sad acceptance, yet not hopeless. Melancholy, maybe? I don't know; but I don't have to 'name' it....I just know I need to 'feel' it. It helps.