When a loved one dies, watching a movie is most likely not on anyone’s priority list. There’s often lots that needs to be done and decisions that need to be made. However, when the dust settles, we often look for ways to distract ourselves or process our emotions and movies can help us do just that. Movies can offer us a different perspective on the situation, bring comfort in the messages they convey and show us that we are not alone in this grief experience. Take a look below for some movies that deal with loss and grief.
This 1991 coming of age story follows Vada, an 11-year-old girl living in a funeral home with her father in Madison, PA. Vada experiences growing up, her first crush, and the loss of a friend- all with a bit of humor and fun. This film holds up to time and is a great option for those who have younger children experiencing loss.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
This movie introduces us to Oskar, a young boy in denial about his father’s death in the September 11th attacks in New York City. Based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer, this movie is relatable for children dealing with the loss of a parent.
The loss of a child is extremely tragic and can often have drastically different effects on those close to the child, especially parents. This movie shows a realistic relationship between a husband and wife who tragically lost their son. Together they work through the heartbreak. While difficult, this movie may be helpful to those who have lost a child.
This animated movie from Disney’s Pixar doesn’t directly deal with death, the movie explores the traditions of the Day of the Dead and the importance of family. This is a great conversation starter for younger children.
P.S. I Love You
Based on a book by the same name, this movie portrays Holly, a widow after the sudden death of her husband. Much to her surprise, he spent his final days writing her letters to help guide her through her grief. This movie is not only good for people who have lost their partner, but also for those who are facing the pressure to “move on”.
Marley & Me
The loss of a pet can affect people more than they often realize. Marley & Me shares the story of a beloved family dog as he grows from a puppy into an irreplaceable part of the family. It reminds us how much joy a dog can bring into our lives and that the grief we feel when they’re gone is valid and real.
Grief affects us all differently, but we all look for distractions and ways to process the feelings associated with a loss. Maybe you’re dealing with a new loss, are coming up on the anniversary of a death, or are just feeling the grief in a significant way. Whatever it may be, sometimes a movie that mimics what you’re feeling can be the right medicine. What movies would you share with someone who has experienced a loss?