Finding Collateral Beauty in Grief

Collateral Beauty in Grief

Have you seen the new movie “Collateral Beauty” starring Will Smith? He plays a man who has been grieving for years trying to make sense of a tragic death.

Death can bring us more questions about life and in the case of Will Smith’s character, is isolated himself from those who cared about him most.  The story unfolds as he writes letters to Love, Time and Death.  Okay, well some might say there is a similarity to a Christmas Carol story, and I say “so what.” It is a modern day story of bereavement and for those reading this blog, well I know you will find meaning.

Death Often Brings Questions

For those of us who lost a loved one in a tragic situation,  or a child died it always conjures up questions of why.  Why was the person taken so soon?  Why should the person have suffered? Why a child?  Why the accident?

Death causes many of us to question life’s meaning and in the case of Will Smith’s character, as he questions the things that have brought him the most hurt, he starts to see what the meaning of each of these reveal in his life even how loss reveals moments of beauty.

What Questions Has Your Loss Revealed?

I found the film to be very thought provoking and I reflected back to the questions I had following the tragic death of my husband.  I admit, I asked why a lot in the beginning.  Why me?  Why did I have to pick-up the pieces?  How would I move on? How would I survive the pain?

Where Are the Gifts?

When we are in the middle of our grief we cannot see anything positive, hopeful, beautiful or remotely close to being a gift.  We can’t see any gifts or beauty in our loss. In fact,  for me,  it was time that gave me a perspective to see more clearly. I know, when people tell you after the funeral that time will heal you don’t want to hear it. You think what do these people know, they can’t understand my loss.

For me,  time did have a way of healing the pain. In time my pain softened and I began to smile more than I cried. I found it was easier to talk about the fond memories of the past than shoving them away never to be talked about.

I look back and found the beauty in the people who were there for me.  The family, friends and even the strangers in the support group who held me up when I was weak.  The business colleagues who came together and helped me move my office, the customers who acknowledged my loss and hung in with me until I was able to serve them again.

Yes, thinking back there was a sales person at Lowes who comforted me when I was crying in an aisle trying to find the right parts to fix the lawn sprinkler.

Question of Faith

Yes, I questioned my faith for a moment. I was a little mad at God for having to go through life without my partner. We were young, we were supposed to grow old together.   Interesting though how quickly my anger softened to faith in that same God that I prayed to for help in getting me to the other side of grief.  I prayed hard for God to hold me up and for me to believe there was a greater plan even if I couldn’t understand what that could be.

Faith a something greater than myself, it brought me comfort and each one of us has an individual spiritual journey where we confront our God and the search for a deeper meaning to our lives.


I was moved by this statement in the movie

“Nothings ever really dead if you look at it right”

I continue to see my husband everywhere. I see him in my daughter, I see him influencing decisions I make because I have a knowing about what he would think.  I know the joy he brought into my life and to the lives of friends who bring up his name on occasion.  I lovingly remember my Mom who nurtured and inspired me to the woman I am today. I think of my loved ones who are passed in loving and meaningful ways and I am grateful I was able to share some of my life with them.

I lovingly remember my Mom who nurtured and inspired me to the woman I am today. I think of other loved ones who have passed.  I now have perspective and I remember them in loving and meaningful ways and I am truly grateful I was able to share some of my life with them.

In time, answers are revealed to Will Smith’s character in the movie through the love and beauty of those who cared about him.  I won’t say reveal any more as not to spoil the movie for you.So what does collateral beauty mean to you? How have you experienced it?

If you see it let me know what collateral beauty means to you? How have you experienced it?

I’d love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below.



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