For those of you who watch The Good Wife on CBS Sunday nights at 9 PM, you know that one of the lead characters, Will Gardner, has been very unexpectedly killed. After some memory flashbacks by other characters in the series and ongoing references to him, he will disappear.
After reading viewer reactions to his death, and noticing my own feelings, it becomes clearer and clearer that many people have truly experienced a kind of grief over his death. It is not unlike what we all experience in real life when we lose those dear to us and when it is not “real” (as on TV) it nevertheless brings up real feelings. Many times we replay the losses we have endured in the past and revisit the memories. As we replay past losses we can either benefit or not from the emotions that resurface. If our past grievings are unresolved—if we have not yet found peace with them—we may find ourselves feeling sad, angry, depressed or even hopeless. This can serve as an indicator of the need for further bereavement work, that it may be time to see a therapist to help us finish the grieving process. We never “get over” the loss of an important person in our lives, but we can expect and work towards making a kind of peace with the loss. When the memories of our lost loved one finally stop bringing pain and instead bring a sweetness and remembrance of love, we can trust that we can now hold their memories close to us and that a healing has occurred.