Jamie Anderson I (I): recent publications

Children’s Movies are Obsessed with Death, but Don’t Show Healthy Grief

“Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” ~Jamie Anderson

I knew my son was watching me. We were inhaling fistfuls of popcorn while Frozen 2 played on the screen above. (Spoiler alert…)

Anna has just realized her sister, Elsa, is dead, frozen solid at the bottom of a river. Anna must carry on life without her.

My son turned his body and looked directly at me, ignoring the film. He knew what was coming. I began to weep. This is what he expected. He patted my arm with his little hand, which was buttery from popcorn and sticky from sour gummy worms.

Anna’s body slumps over, and her broken voice begins a haunting : You’ve gone to a place I cannot find. This grief has a gravity. It pulls me down.

I’m frozen, too, within memories of the death of my brother Dave by suicide just months earlier. Cartoon Anna and I together mourned our lost siblings. 

My young son comforted me while I cried. As I think about it, it is such a twisted scene. Can’t we just go to the movies, eat a bunch of crappy food, have a couple of laughs, and call it a night?

None of us intended for me to have a in an animated film with a talking snowman and a plot line featuring a guy who is enmeshed with his reindeer. But the film is all about grief.

It is about one daughter’s quest to heal intergenerational trauma and right the wrongs of the past. It is about another daughter trying to learn the stories of her lost parents, and in so doing, she enters a space that is unsafe and threatens her life, too.

I guess it is completely predictable that this story would

liking parents character

Jamie Anderson I (I)


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