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(don’t read on if you aren’t caught up with seeing all episodes of ‘This Is Us’)
Now if you’re still with us, we want to discuss 5 ways ‘This Is Us’ has been hitting the mark in portraying grief. And we’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’ve been watching, how have you related to the characters, especially in how they express their grief?
1. Description of Sudden Loss:
If you’ve experienced a sudden loss, you’ll agree that Randall’s character describes the feelings perfectly. During the eulogy for his daughter’s lizard on the anniversary of his father’s death, Randall describes sudden loss with an analogy to toothache pain. “It hurts… differently” as a dull pain at first then changing to be “sharp, painful, and very loud in one’s head”. “Like a lightning bolt, you can’t even see reaching inside of you…”
2. Feeling Your Loved One in Your Home:
Beth gives a “FUN-eral toast” after William’s death and it has us connecting with every detail, about still seeing and feeling William in their home… and the last line that we’ve all felt. “I really don’t know what to say. I’m pretty mad at him, for leaving I guess.… I can look all over this house and see the memories that we shared. Every time I walk past the bathroom I can hear the humming of him brushing his teeth… Did you know he could dance? Right there, right where Randall is standing is where he showed me that he could still attempt the Charleston…… He’s part of our fabric now. We’ll remember things as before William and after William.”
3. Observing a Death Anniversary:
‘This Is Us’ shows the normalcy of getting through a death anniversary every year. We witness how differently the Pearson family members spend their Super Bowls (Jack’s death anniversary) each year, reminding us that grief is unique to everyone. We love the line, “Kate wallows, Kevin avoids,” and Randall celebrates. That’s just “how Randall rolls.” Rebecca receiving a sign from her late husband on his death anniversary each year hits the mark – the feeling of your loved one by your side is such a welcome feeling we can all relate to.
4. Talking About Losing a Loved One:
Grief so often takes the form of simply not being able to talk about a loss – and we see it portrayed so well in Kate’s character. Kate tries numerous times to talk with fiance Toby about the death of her father. Kate is so relatable in that she shows that she wants to open up, but with strong feelings of guilt on top of her grief, she struggles, just like many of us have.
5. Grieving as a Parent:
‘This Is Us’ shows us how Rebecca, and her adult children, deal with her remarrying Miguel. This grief topic isn’t often discussed, so it’s wonderful that it’s brought up on this show. It is clear that her kids aren’t too comfortable with it, but as we continue to watch we’ll see more revealed. Also, at Jack’s funeral, Rebecca shows us that her parental strength, even though she doesn’t believe it, can get her through the day. She sits with Dr. K, doubting herself saying, “I can’t do this without him, I just I can’t. He knew how to do all of this. I’m not fearless, I’m not…” The truth in her fear is something that all grieving parents can relate to feeling at one point or another.