So just when I was going around mocking a work day filled with Lifetime movies, yesterday I watched The Color of Rain, a made-for-Hallmark movie from 2014. I had it on as background noise while I was watching some graphic design how-to videos, but the story pulled me in.
It’s based a memoir written by Michael and Gina Spehn, a widow and a widower who lost their spouses around the same time and were connected by their grief. Within the year, they’d fallen in love and were married.
The movie brought up the opposition the couple encountered and showed how when someone dies, people who’ve brought over a casserole feel entitled to voice their opinions on how the family moves forward.
Hardly anyone ever talks about this aspect of widow/widowerhood so it was refreshing to see it onscreen. I’ve just started reading their memoir since I want to find out more about their story.
Throughout my life, I’ve always found it to be such a comfort when I hear someone tell a story that mirrors something happening in my life. I remember as a child, struggling with something and then reading a story in my aunt’s copy of Woman’s Day magazine that caused me to run into the living room and shout “this is happening to somebody else too.” It’s not so much about misery loves company, but about the true meaning of empathy, which Brené Brown
defines as “communicating that incredibly healing message of ‘you’re not alone.'”
I loved the message of the film that hard things do not have to define us even when people find it uncomfortable for us to find happiness after loss. We are more than our disappointments and we are more than our scars. We can reframe our narrative any time we want to and find our happily ever after in the end.
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