Friday, April 10, 2009

"Grace is Gone" - Movie

I watched this movie on Maundy Thursday. Inspired by a true story, it is a film about a family that needs to cope with the death of the mother serving in Iraq. When he heard the news, Stan Phillips was stunned and didn't know how to react. He decided to keep his two girls in the dark, until he can give them a time of their lives. He decided on a road trip with the girls. His work, children's school responsibilities and all other usual chores become a distant concern. Driving across far distances, he decided to give the girls whatever they have always wanted. Watching movies throughout the night, going to the Enchanted Gardens theme park, skipping school, shopping for gifts and getting their ears pierced. Played by John Cushack, Stan gave a riveting performance as the father in grief. In his own private moments, he would call back home to listen to the voice recording which contains the sound of his wife. It is clear that he was grieving with the loss alone, while at the same time, keeping this news from his two girls. Only toward the end of the movie, Stan brought the girls to the beach and told them the news. It was the most touching moment of the show, to see how the father and his daughter weep uncontrollably as they embrace one another over the loss of their mother. That was a weepie. Some of the reactions I felt were:
  • Importance of learning to cope with bad news, applying both self-control sometimes, and letting oneself go at other times;
  • Take a long drive away from home, and familiar places;
  • Never underestimate the need to grieve. All other things will become a distant second priority;
  • Spend pure time with loved ones, without needing a plan;
  • Talk with people;
  • Pray a lot;
  • A Good Sleep is needed in coping with loss;
  • Reveal Bad News at an appropriate time; Plan carefully;
  • Do not underestimate the depth of a loss.

Losing a loved one is something profoundly deep. I recall how the people who witnessed Jesus's death at the cross as follows:
When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things. (Luke 23:48-49, NIV)
Imagine the grief and pain they were going through at that time, watching someone they love die on the cross, horribly, unjustly and undeservedly.

It is a very meaningful movie, tears and all. Highly recommended.


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