Richard Siken, War of the Foxes | Rebecca Makkai, The Great Believers | C.S. Lewis | Maryam Mughal, Angel of Grief | Fortesa Latifi | Mary Shelley, Frankenstein | Chelsea Hodson, The End of Longing | Anna Blunden, For Only One Short Hour | Shane Madej, Hot Daga | Mary Oliver, Invitation
Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.
That man would have days where he would just break down over his child because that was his child
Bruce would imagine the fear that Jason must have felt
The agony he felt before his death. Bruce saw the wounds from his beating, the swelling around his limbs and on his face
I refuse to believe Bruce got home from that day and went back to work immediately. I fucking refuse
Jason wasn’t just some kid to Bruce, that was his child. His 15-year-old child who was killed in an extremely horrific way
I refuse to believe Bruce didn’t wake up in the middle of the night sobbing
That he didn’t wake up and immediately start wailing for his boy
I fucking refuse to believe that
I believe on that day he went to bed in his home he woke up from his slumber and just screamed and cried until Alfred ran in to comfort him and all he could say was, “this is worse. This is so much worse than losing them’
Because the pain of losing a child is something nobody should go through, and that is the day he stopped fighting in only his parents memory. He fought for Jason
And that was the day he realized his parents would’ve gone through this pain if it had been him. No one deserves this, no one should bury their child
A friend of my partner’s family had to say goodbye to her beloved dog Lupa of almost sixteen years old. I offered to do a funeral ritual for her and I expected to receive a no for an answer. Most people I’ve offered it to end up saying no as they want to get rid of the body, get rid of the pain they are experiencing as soon as they can. But she said yes.
Her family was not super keen on it and rather not be at home to see the dog. She has always adjusted to what other people want, but she really needed this. It’s a delicate balance, to reach an agreement with people, especially when it is family. Her daughter wanted to be away when Lupa got euthanized and her son found it too difficult as well.
As we agreed to it, I felt myself regretting the offer, I am afraid of people, afraid to fail, and I fear saying and doing the wrong things. I almost couldn’t do it, I felt too tired. But I told myself to be brave.
As I arrived at the trainstation for her to pick me up with my bag of flowers, I discovered trees shedding their pinecones. As I picked them up I witnessed myself feeling less fear for the looks I was being given.
I stepped into her car and she told me she felt numb, we shared eachothers experiences of losing our dogs, and walking into her garden, looking at Lupa laying there with a candle burning beside her, I felt a familiar feeling.
Her daughter ended up being there when Lupa got euthanized and held her in her arms, which was so brave of her, and when I visited, she said hi briefly and went to her room again.
When she let me do my thing and arrange the flowers, I felt the layers of my fear slowly shed off of me. I allowed myself to breathe.
As I finished the arrangement, she cried and walked up to me to thank me, for how beautiful it was, and saying how special I was for her. I told her I was thankful too, and that she felt special to me, for only special people in my life allow me to do such a thing.
It was beautiful to watch the flies eventually cover all of her face, we watched it together for a long time with her husband, I thought it was beautiful, all the green shimmers covering her eyes, how fast they sense death, you can try to chase them off for as much as you like, but you can’t stop the natural cycles.
After I left, she messaged me to say I also influenced her daughter. A girl who didn’t want to know or see anything about death, is now burying her own dog and using the flowers to arrange in her grave again.
Everyone struggles with their fears, but I witnessed so much bravery in everyone, for her to choose what she needs, for her daughter to witness death with love, even when it hurts, and for me, to show up and allow myself to be me.
Goodbye dear Lupa,
I may not have met you when you were wagging your tail, but you still have taught me so much about life. That the ripples that I cast matter, to walk through life with an open heart, that life can be painful, like walking through the bushes with thorns and nettles, to reach the other side, it will tear your clothes and give rashes on your skin, but it gets easier, the path becomes clearer the more you walk through it every day.
One thing I love about Leverage: Redemption but haven’t seen noted yet is the overhead shot motif. Or at least a specific aspect of it.
We see it sprinkled throughout the original series when the team’s coming together or when they’re going their separate ways. It’s a symbol representing the team as a cohesive unit (thank you Symbolism of The Circle) - this group of random strangers that has somehow forged themselves a family.
And you can use it to understand the team’s current dynamics. The first time we see them like this, they’ve just finished a one-off job for a lying asshole Dubenich. All of them understand and want this to be a one-time thing. They’re all moving within the circle as they talk, antsy, and when it’s time to part ways no one hesitates.
Then, compare that to the end of the season. At this point they’ve grown close. They’re a family. None of them want to go, but they have to because they need to lay low for a while and they can’t do that as a group. It’s a separation that’s probably going to last forever and no one is moving. In fact it takes forever for them to turn and leave, and some of them are close to tears (Sophie actually does cry). And the first to turn away? Nate. Because despite these people being his family and him not wanting to leave them, he’s not a thief. (Which is the exact reason Sophie cries. It’s a rejection of who they are, who she is, because Nate hasn’t come to terms with who he is yet.)
So now we have Leverage: Redemption, where we get our first overhead shot. It’s at the beginning of the first episode to show us where the team stands in the present day, and it’s a fucking gut punch. At first we think it hits hard because Nate’s not there. The team is there, but a piece is missing, leaving a hole both literally and figuratively. And this is what I’ve seen a lot of comments on.
But that’s not the case. If you look closer, you realize that Nate Ford IS in the shot, in his place by Sophie, even, but instead of his presence being a comfort to the team it’s an oppressive weight. A figurative hole, but not a literal one.
Nate’s death is the elephant in the room. Always present and affecting everyone, even though he’s no longer physically there with them.
And the first to leave the shot?
She exits swiftly in the opposite direction of Nate, cutting her way through the rest of the team in her effort to get away. In fact we learn not a few moment later that she’s been avoiding everyone and trying to get away for a while now. (“Because you’ve stopped returning our calls” ~ Parker)
Sophie’s arc this season is her grief, learning to process the loss and, in my opinion, to keep living throughout the process. Grieving is something we all do. It’s natural and it’s necessary, but when we’re grieving we cannot also forget to live. And I get the distinct feeling that Sophie has forgotten how to keep living through her grief and that hasn’t allowed her to fully process it. It’s also why I think the rest of the family came to rope her back into the business. It started out as a way to distract her or make her smile again, but really it’s encouraging her to live. Then, through the numerous cons afterward, she’s able to keep living and grieving side-by-side, and that is what helps her process her loss.