How do superheroes confront grief?
Have you ever binge watched shows to deal with your grief? Just like much of the world I have taken time during the Pandemic to binge watch on my favorite streaming services. One of the things I enjoyed watching was WandaVision. The main character is forced to confront her grief in the series. Hopefully I am not giving any spoilers for those of you who still plan on watching it, just in case, SPOILER ALERT!
WandaVision is a television mini series that tells its story in 9, 30-50 minute episodes. This show is a part of the Marvel Universe and expands on Avenger character Wanda (aka the Scarlet Witch) and Vision Maximoff. So yes in short, it’s a superhero show.
Even if you don’t care about superheroes or think they are dorky, all the better because I won’t be spoiling anything for you. Here is the surprise, you can learn a lot about grief from this show. You might even find yourself identifying with a superhero.
What can we learn about grief from a Superhero?
Here we go, there is a scene toward the end of WandaVision where Wanda comes to the realization that her grief has created a false reality. She could not bear to continue a life without her love Vision, who died in a previous Avengers movie. Wanda subconsciously, some may say, used her super powers to create a town and world where Vision was still living. In this world the two of them could continue to live and love and raise a family as she always imagined.
Without confronting grief we can cause damage.
Can you imagine if we had superpowers what our grief might bring us to get ourselves into?
There is a point in the series where Wanda realizes that her grief has created this reality. For so long she denied reality. Her denial kept her from realizing how her desire to avoid her grief was hurting others.
She ran away from her grief and created a false reality. This false reality ultimately hurt others and herself. As a result she had to go through the pain of sacrificing it all to make things right again.
Can you identify with this super hero at all? We don’t have superpowers so we can’t quite conjure up an entire town and family and make it “reality”, however we can definitely create false realities and get lost in grief.
Instead of creating additional pain here are 3 big ways to confront your grief.
1. Feel your feelings.
No matter what they are. Write them. Sing them. Dance them. Whatever your feelings are, get them out, process them and try to understand them.
2. Get professional help.
Therapist, counselors, support group. Whatever works for you. If one doesn’t work, try another option. Having someone to talk to about, especially someone trained to give you great advice and treatment is the way to go. They are getting paid for goodness sake so you won’t feel that you are burdening anyone with all your feelings. Just do it!
3. Start over if you need to.
Just when you think you are okay things take a turn and grief washes over you. Don’t be afraid to “still be grieving’. If you have completed therapy but you’re struggling. Go back again. Nothing is wrong with you when you need long term support.