Friday, April 8, 2016

Tropical Storm Grief and Demolition, the Movie

So today was a little bit of a shit-storm.  Not Hurricane Katrina proportioned, but there's been a tropical storm brewing off my east coast for a while.  And it finally hit land.

It's funny to me how I know it's coming and there are times at night when I'm alone and I just wish I could cry...just a little to release the pressure.  I so wish I could time that right.  Then maybe I could avoid days like today.

I won't go into detail.  It's the same old story.  Man marries woman.  Man makes an early an unexpected exit.  Man leaves woman to deal with life on her own as a widow.  Woman wants to hit everything she can get her hands on but she can't because she's so drained that all feeling has left her body.  Woman will probably end up in bed after writing this blog to wallow in her widow misery.

Anyway, I made a risky move this afternoon and went to the movies on my own to see Demolition. As I sat in my seat with my medicinal peanut M&Ms I thought, given the day I was having, that this was either a brilliant move or incredibly stupid.

If you haven't seen the trailer, Demolition is about a man who loses his wife in a car accident. 

Yes, this could hit a little too close to home. But at least I could stare at Jake Gyllenhaal while I wallowed for a little while.  And that's never a bad thing.

If I could sum up the entire movie in one word it would be "honest."  I think one of the things I appreciated about it from the beginning was the portrayal of the marriage he had before he lost his wife.  Unlike other movies about grief and widowhood, things weren't perfect.  In fact, he had more or less checked out. Maybe they both had.  Things weren't bad.  Things were...marriage.

There were some things I thought I didn't relate to throughout the movie, but as I thought about it more it was actually spot-on.  Maybe the details weren't the same, but I remember trying to find a connection to ANYTHING.  I remember feeling like I was grieving backward.  I remember feeling manic (and now I'm wishing I had done less retail therapy and joined a demolition crew - that was genius).

Where I found myself smiling was when the main character, Davis (Gyllenhaal), was driving down the road and explaining how everything has now become a metaphor for him.  Oh, Lord how that was me for a while (still is sometimes).  A fallen tree, a detour sign...WHAT IS THE UNIVERSE TRYING TO TELL ME?????

Probably a fat lot of nothing.  But when my husband died nine years ago one ad could have made me buy a sports car because my husband wanted it way back when and SURELY that meant he wanted me to have it.

Oh, wait.  That actually happened.

If anything, the movie shows how everyone grieves differently and we all have a hard time understanding that even while we're doing it.  Some people are constructive with their grief and some people are destructive.  Who's to say who's right? (Although I will venture to guess that people who are constructive are probably more financially stable.  I'd hate to see what it cost to get that house back into shape after old Jake took a sledgehammer to it.)

So, here's the bottom line for my widow(er) friends:  I think you'll find things that you relate to.  If you're like me you might even feel a small release while you watch Jake hammer his way through his granite countertop.  You'll watch him struggle and find a random friendship with a stranger that he clings to (check) because they just somehow connect.  You'll watch him deconstruct his life until there's almost nothing left that he recognizes - because, even if he didn't, he wouldn't recognize his life anyway (double-check).

For my non-widowed friends:  You get to stare at Jake Gyllenhaal.

Enough said.

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