One of the consequences of having suffered the death of a loved one (my husband of 34 years died three months ago) is the people around you get a little nervous. They are afraid of reminding you of your loss (as if there’s any chance you’ll forget), or of exposing you to something that will make your broken heart bleed anew.
This happened to me this weekend, when I was at a friend’s house. For some time she has wanted to share some of this years’ Oscar-nominated short films with me, and this night we settled in to watch her favorite, ‘The Phone Call.’ It quickly became apparent that the film is about a man who is in despair over his wife’s death, and my friend hit the pause button, horrified, and apologized for her thoughtlessness. I replied that not only do I not want people to censor themselves around me, I also have to get past any reluctance to see or read about people encountering death, because that is one of the great themes of art and literature.
In fact, I have found that art provides one of the best solaces for grief (being outdoors is another). And I am not alone in this. I’ve read a few ‘grief memoirs’ recently and every person has said that poetry helped them cope.
If you haven’t seen ‘The Phone Call,’ I’m going to give some spoilers so you might want to stop reading now until you’ve seen this beautiful film. Here's the trailer: