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Down the Rabbit Hole

I'm not sure if it was courage or just a need for some catharsis but Tuesday night I watched Rabbit Hole. I had actually put it in the Netflix queue a while ago. It was pretty far down the list but for some reason, I bumped it up to #1 last week. It came in the mail on Monday.
For those of you that haven't heard of this movie, it's based on the play by David Lindsey-Abaire. It's about a couple (Becca and Howie) whose only child dies at the age of 4. 

Yes, I knew what I was getting into.

In truth, it was a pretty amazing movie. It's sad but it's also honest. In fact, I think it's one of the most accurate portrayals of parental grief that I've seen outside of real life. 

Roger decided not to watch the whole movie with me but 15 minutes in, he said, "Do these people read our blogs?" I couldn't agree more. 

I resonated with Becca's challenges:

Trying to move on while keeping your child's memory alive.
Seeing her everywhere.

Dealing with stress in your marriage:
Trying to help your partner cope. Not understanding when they deal with things in a different way. You both experienced the same tragedy, right? You both lost the same child. And yet, you grieve differently. Or you grieve the same way but at a different pace. 

Dealing with other people: 
There are clumsy conversations. There are daily reminders that while others continue their parental journey, your trip was cancelled mid-flight. There is a perceived pressure to grieve the right way.*               *note: there is no right way. don't be fooled.

Dealing with the question...when do we have another child? Do we ever have another child?

Yep. It's all there. Rabbit Hole is not the "Rachel and Roger story" but the echoes were pretty darn resonant. It was powerful.

At the end of the movie (**SPOILER ALERT**) Becca and Howie reach a crossroads in their grief. It is time to move on but they're not sure where to go. Becca has just offered to invite her best friend...a friend with whom she hasn't spoken since her son's death 8 months ago...over to the house for a cookout. Her friend has two kids, one of whom just had a birthday. The conversation ensues:

Becca: So what are we gonna do?
Howie:  About what?
Becca: I don’t know.  Just pick something.
Howie: We could go pick up Candyland for Emily. Probably something she’d like.
Becca: Then what?

Howie: Then we wrap it.  Then we have the cookout. And they’ll come over. We’ll have a couple other people over so it’s not too awkward for everyone.  Then to make everyone comfortable we’ll ask a bunch of questions about what the kids are up to.  We’ll pretend we’re really interested.  And then we’ll wait for someone to bring up Danny while the kids are playing. Maybe that will go on for a little while.  And then after that, they’ll go home.

Becca: And then what?
Howie: I don’t know. (long pause) Something, though. 

It's all too often that I find myself saying, "What are we gonna do?"
Sometimes it's just the inner monologue I carry on in my head.

Some days are ok.
Some days are challenging.
Sometimes there are moments when you almost forget.
Almost.

Sometimes it actually feels good to grieve because it's real.
Because it's a way of remembering.
Sometimes that's all you can do. And it's something.

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