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P.S. I Love You

Spoiler alert-I may give away part of the plot to this fabulous film.

I’ve just finished watching “P.S. I Love You”, it’s one of my favourite films. It’s a lovely way to look at grief.

I know it’s too perfect but it beautifully illustrates the importance of surrounding yourself with supportive friends.

It captures the essence of grief. The roller coaster of emotions and relationships that happen during the grieving period of a young widow. It’s also very romantic, funny, sad and tugs at your heart strings.

Gerry and Holly are a young married couple in the perfect relationship. They love each other truly, madly and deeply. He is diagnosed with a brain tumour and consequently dies but it is only after he dies that we see their journey of how they met, how they loved and how they lost each other.

After Gerry dies, love letters from him are delivered to Holly and continue for the first year of her grief. He wrote the letters while Holly was at the shops and arranged for them to be delivered at pivotal times after his death.

I love this romantic idea that he could truly know what and how she’s thinking, even into the future after his death.

In these letters he instructs her on what would be best for her to get through her life (without him). He also lets her know that he misses her too. It’s hard for both of them.

Celebrations

The first letter arrives and instructs her to go out and celebrate her 30th birthday.

It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to go out and celebrate your birthday while you feel like your falling apart. After the death of your loved one you feel numb and you’ll want to be by yourself. If you decided to be with friends it would be helpful for you to sit with them and just be there. You don’t have to talk, you don’t have to be happy. You might like to share memories of your loved one and say their name over and over again.

The Ashes

Holly took Gerry’s ashes everywhere with her because that’s what she needed and her friends supported her in that. She couldn’t bear to let him go (just yet).  Sometimes it’s difficult to leave the ashes, as it is your loved ones body, it is them.

The fantasy of this film is that Gerry is supporting Holly through her first year without him and that’s a wonderful thing to imagine. The reality is that her friends let her grieve in the way that she needed to and supported her every step of the way.

Supportive Friends

Holly was supported by those around her, which is an important part of grieving. You need to feel support, to feel that it’s okay to be broken and miss the person who has impacted your life.

Holly was able to come to her own conclusion that Gerry won’t be coming back and that she doesn’t know who she will be without him. She doesn’t know how she will survive without him but she knows that she can live her life because of the journey she was allowed to take over the past year.

I’ve watched it 7 times now and I still cry every time.

It really defines grief

Grief is:
Maddening; absolute sadness; mood swings; experiencing every emotion you have, all at one time; feeling helpless and hopeless; the pain of remembering your loved one and the fear of forgetting them; feeling lost and that you’ll never find your way back to a normal life;  it’s every emotion you could ever experience and trying to live life again without that love and the physical presence of that person.

The Never Ending Hug

In the movie she keeps seeing him and talking to him. This is a totally normal part of grieving. You desperately want to look into their eyes and have them see you and feel your presence. It’s unbearable not to have that and to think that you will never have that again. You hunger for them to hold you, hug you and to never let you go again.

You will take as long as you need to work through your grief.

The Friends you need around you will:

  • love and support you
  • let you be sad
  • understand that you will need time to grieve
  • let you take that time to grieve
  • listen
  • let you feel whatever you are feeling
  • not try to fix things for you
  • love you
  • let you know when you need help

Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear what you think.

If you’d like to talk to me about grieving, death or anything else, contact me today to talk about your needs.

 

2 Comments

  1. joyce

    I loved this movie and like you, cry every time I watch it. I have never lost a close one to death but I have to divorce and the grieving process is a little similar… how can I live without him etc, and not wanting to let go, particularly when they ask for the divorce. I really loved the movie for the ending which brought me great joy, but whilst it also gave me many laughs, I could still feel the pathos underneath. Great blog Cait.

    • Cait Wotherspoon

      You’re right Joyce that divorce is a grieving process too. Your life changes in so many ways. You go from being a husband or wife to being single, your identity is changed forever. You also oscillate between missing your partner and (as you say) not wanting to let go.
      Thanks for your comment Joyce.

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