We usually watch movies to relax, but movies have bigger power than just helping us to relax. Movies have the power to move us and to help us understand more about being human and our emotions. Life is sometimes difficult and painful, and although some of us are blessed by living lives filled with joy and gratitude, we know that at some stage we will have to walk the road of pain and loss.
When troubling times hit, movies have a wonderful ability to help us make sense. Grief is a complex experience and most of us suddenly realize that we do not have the ability to describe our feelings. This is normal since grieving can be compared to a roller coaster. The one minute you feel as if you are coping, and the next minute the everything falls out from under you and you lose it. An important part of coping with grief is being able to express and understand what you are feeling. Movies are a valuable tool when trying to understand grief. Whether you are experiencing grief yourself, or trying to help a loved one of friend coping with grief, movies can help. Understanding grief is important, as Norman Cousins said “Man is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in him can be wrought by crisis – once that crisis is recognized and understood.”
Watching movies can help you realize that your experiences are normal. Just realizing that you are not alone and what you experience is normal can promote healing. Also, watching a skillfully directed movie about grief can help you cry freely. Crying can release pain and hurt. It also offers you some chance to open up and discuss what you saw with someone else. This can offer you a springboard from which to launch a discussion of your own hurt and feelings. The healing that can be gained from a good movies is great. People experiencing grief tends to think that they will never be able to live again. It is as if their whole life has ended. Movies can help them see that grief is a universal experience and that life can go on again, although different.