Spoiler Alert—- this post contains spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy. Specifically seasons 11/12. Do not read if you do not want to know what happens!!!
I’m rewatching Grey’s Anatomy right now. I originally watched it (listened mostly) at work 5-6 years ago. I’m in a completely different place in my life than I was back then and I remember liking the show a lot, so I decided it was time to rewatch it.
If you’re at all familiar with this show, it is heavy. Like, every episode has at least one trauma PLUS all of the doctors have their personal drama. It can be draining to watch. I’ve taken several day-week breaks while rewatching.
I knew what was coming, so I wasn’t surprised. I knew it was coming. I just didn’t know exactly when it happened in the timeline of Grey’s.
Then, it happened. Derek Shepherd died and Meredith was left a widow. It’s worth mentioning that I completely forgot how he died until I was reminded about a week before I watched it again. That made my anxiety about watching it pretty high, but I had to watch this again.
When I had watched before, I was married with children, had a job I hated, and my personal life was messy. I was outwardly cold and never allowed myself to feel anything. Now, I’m on the other side. I’m a widow, I have a job I love, and I love every aspect about my life now. I’ve done a complete turn around with myself. I feel all the things now. I wondered how I would feel watching it now.
It’s sad. It was sad the first time. This time, I observed more of Meredith’s actions, non-actions, and words. Everything she did or said made a hell of a lot more sense to me now. I could see her processing it all (trying to anyways) and I could feel it now too.
I’m a few episodes past it now, (she just had her third baby) and I am sure she has not even begun to heal from the death of her husband. Holy crap– this show suddenly got a whole lot more relatable to me.
There is one thing that is bothering me. Actually, there are two things, but I’ll focus on the one for now.
Meredith and Derek did not have a perfect relationship with one another from the beginning. Right before he died, they had just reconciled a huge fight. They were good the last time they saw each other. Their relationship was strong.
But what if it hadn’t been?
Would people still empathize with her so much if they had been fighting, separated, or divorced?
Or would people have said things like, “Her husband died; but they were divorced.”
Like that lessens the blow?
Why is someone’s grief measured on what their circumstances are at the time of their trauma?
“His sister died, but they hadn’t talked in years.”
“Her friend died, but they had been suffering a long time.”
“Your husband died, but you were fighting.”
Does the time spent with the person ~ Loving them, Living with them, Spending time with them; all disappear when things are bad? Does the love go away because y’all had issues you were working through? Does it lessen someone’s grief because they had an imperfect relationship with someone? Will it make a difference to the kids with no father that mom and dad were fighting when dad died?
Why do the non-grieving people (general society) get to put parameters on when/how/for how long/how much another person can grieve something/someone?
We live in the year 2020. Some CrAzY ShIt is going down everywhere all the time. Additionally, each and every single person you come in contact with has experienced their own traumas.
I am not familiar with all the traumas people go through. I am familiar with my traumas. My children’s traumas. I have chosen to speak out on this because the way society views and handles grieving people astounds me.
I get it’s awkward and people don’t know what to say or do. Guess what–Neither does the person grieving!!! There are no “right things” to do, but there are certainly wrong ones. Saying anything that might make you feel better about the situation, but in no way helps the grieving person, is one of the wrong things.
THINK about what you are going to say BEFORE you say it. If it does not add Love and Warmth to the help the grieving person, OMIT IT FROM YOUR STATEMENT.
Let’s all be a tiny more progressive with this. I’m simply asking you to think of what you say before you say it. This is something I tell my boys to do no matter what situation they are in.
Let’s eliminate the stigma of grieving. We can’t do it overnight or eradicate it completely, but if YOU do something small to be more considerate and loving, YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN AT LEAST ONE PERSON’S LIFE.
Think before you speak.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah
P.S. Random Cool Fact ~ Patrick Dempsey is now a race car driver because he is super passionate about this. Check out Season 7, Episode 1 to hear him talking on Grey’s Anatomy about this. You can see the magic in his eyes. 🙂