Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Greenleaf

I've been watching this show and in an early episode a couple is expecting twins but one of the twins dies in utero and it's never mentioned. One thing that really bothers me is when writers introduce a stillborn baby into a narrative but then just drop it, like there are no repercussions for the family. Now on S2 E11 the bereaved mother confides in a friend that she feels like the baby is a kite floating in the sky alone and she's the only one holding on and if she lets go the baby will fly away forever and she thinks about her every day. Friend says "You can let go" and I think oh shit not this bullshit again but then he says "I'll hold it for a while and I will never let go." and then he says the baby's name. She says she hasn't heard her name since she first died. In a later scene she's holding the twin who survived and telling him "Just because I cry for your sister doesn't mean you're not enough." It really captures the feeling I've had of being pulled in two different directions, mourning my son and raising his sister. I want her to know that true love never dies, and she is enough. She doesn't need to be or do anything to make up for her brother's death.

Scenes like these are rare. I wish all writers would not just use stillborn babies as a gimmick. Unless you're prepared to write them in as characters and not just props, don't do it.

He's not just some tragic event that happened in our lives. He's not a plot twist. He's a person, a family member, someone to keep loving and missing and including. And we will never let go.

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