You may think it’s heartless. Someone turning on the TV just a day after losing a loved one. Don’t judge so easily. Take a moment.

You lose someone and everyone has some advice, a kind word, a gesture. After the initial shock you might be able to be at home, maybe with people suffering along with you. And if you see one of them turning the TV on for a slapstick sitcom, what is your reaction? Shout at the absurdity of that? Think they’re heartless? Don’t be so hard on them.

Each person grieves in their own intrinsic way and fiction universes are often the exact company they crave on that moment:

– Background noise: people talking about something else than the huge lump in their hearts;

– Evasion/Escapism: obviously, seeing what some random character is facing distracts you.

But there is a more important effect:

It might help you process your grief.

By watching the characters face similar problems or even mundane ones you relive certain moments. It may hurt. It is not a fail proof help, but while watching the characters walking around moving on with their lives, suffering, avenging, simply mourning or even if they’re far from any problem of that sort you manage to have let yourself ease a bit.

While you care for their silly fictional problems, your brain will be back processing your own emotions so you’re dealing with them but in a more…indirect way.

 

This may not work for you. And sometimes crying for a character will surely not be enough to bring you peace. But for some, those minutes of passive consuming a narrative are the only ones that allow them to slowly gather the strength to move forward.

Just cut some slack and let the TV be on.

S.G.

P.S.: For more (cheerful) articles check out our extensive archive.