What Disney’s Inside Out taught me about grief and loss

I recently took my daughter, age 12, to watch Inside Out. It was a rare day that we had alone and I felt it would be a poignant film to see together.

Having researched the film (which I have to do with anything I expose my children to), I was impressed by the reviews which said the film offered a unique way of viewing how our emotions work in a way that children could relate to. I initially wanted to see the film because I thought it would give my daughter further insight into why she might feel the way she does and then have more understanding of her emotions. All this wrapped up in an entertaining Disney Pixar movie!

But I wasn’t prepared for the film to speak to me! To my grief. To make me think about Abi, too.

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Do you want to build a snowman?

I recently sat down with my son and daughter to watch Frozen. I realise we’re rather late as it was a Christmas movie, but at the time we weren’t keen to see it (going to the cinema was just not fun anymore). So I put it on as an afternoon distraction for us on a rainy day, not expecting too much.

I often relate songs or TV shows to Abi that bring back a specific memory of her, so I wasn’t expecting this new film to have much of an impact on me, only that it’s another thing that Abi has missed out on. The children loved it of course, but as soon as it started I felt my grief surface and had a bit of an ‘oh dear’ moment as I wondered if this was going to upset me too much to watch or if I could bite my lip and get through it.

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