A Mess of Tears
Written in the evening of Thursday April 23.
I’m a mess!
My eyes are wet and puffy and they sting.
My heart feels like it’s been ripped out of my chest. And for a moment, I thought I couldn’t breathe let alone speak.
I have just experienced an overwhelming loss.
A TV character.
Spoiler Alert: Grey’s Anatomy, my go-to-show for the past 11 seasons (as seen here) walloped me tonight with the passing of Dr. Derek Shepherd.
Now I can’t say I wasn’t expecting something HUGE was going to happen.
The previous weeks and basically entire season so far has been preparing us with more than a few bread crumbs. Often the show was a little too liberal with hints, longing glances and farewell monologues. Derek has been absent for much of this year. Then they brought him back only to take him away again ultimately leading to the final mystery of wife Meredith wondering why she can’t get a hold of him.
But actual death was still a shock.
I say actual because so many times, the Grey’s Writers toy with your emotional experience. They bombard with flashbacks or dream sequences, that half the time you don’t know if what you’re watching is really happening to a character or not. So a real death was catastrophic for fans.
I can go on and on about my rollercoaster feelings about the show through the years. I can critique the weird, wonderful, ridiculous and moving episodes that have come and gone.
But I wanted to write this post for two reasons.
The first, is about how emotionally invested we can get with our favourite TV programs. They become ritual, family, routine, a cozy part of our home life. So as such, we ride the heart-rending or spirit-lifting storylines as if we are right there with the characters.
It’s not only a visual thing. It’s a deep-rooted physical and mental experience (and of course escape). Hence my messy state.
Yet even more than that is my second reason, the power of good writing. It gets into your psyche and lingers there. It affects you.
If you’re regular patron of The Expressible Café, you’ll know that the whole magical fashioning of characters from mind to paper to heart has been a recurring theme with me (as seen also here).
Well it is never more apparent of the power of words, coupled with good acting, when you can end up a swishy muddle of tears and tissues. And your reaction has come as a result of someone else’s imaginative skill and thought put into action.
Now I know there are some out there who couldn’t care less about television or actors let alone Grey’s Anatomy itself and that’s totally fine. I’m not trying to convince anyone to become a fan. But the show has been a significant part of my writer’s life, both emotionally and creatively.
I can’t say I was thrilled with the way the writers led up to Dr. Shepherd’s demise (too many bread crumbs can choke you). But having his end come through his own narration, was a brilliant tool for, let’s face it, devastation.
As sad as it is to think I will no longer see his “dreamy” face on screen, I completely appreciate the power this incident will have on future storylines.
The impact of grief on a person, and in this case many persons (like my own Novel), will provide a phenomenal amount of fodder for even more compelling episodes to come for writers and actors.
And so once again, I dream on and hope and pray and write and cross those fingers, that I too may make someone somewhere someday a messy muddle of tears, tissues and stinging eyes through my own work.
Paula Antonello Moore, Thoughts. Copyright; Thursday, April 23, 2015
Images: Top, Scrubs: from Rebloggy
First meeting:: from Fanpop
Meredith weeps from Mashable
Wow – really? Okay, even though I wasn’t a fan of the show, I can understand how heartbreaking losing a major character can be for fans (re: Dr. Green dying on ER). You tied this in nicely with the idea of good writing making it possible for us to fall in love with fictitious people. B.
My point exactly. Yes.