Tonight, on Lifetime, a movie called Return To Zero will premiere. The movie was a labor of love for writer/director/producer Sean Hanish, whose own experience with stillbirth and loss drove his passion for creating a film with a storyline based solely around the loss of a child. Return to Zero will take the audience through the highs of pregnancy, the lows of the loss, the struggles of anger and marriage, and hopefully, share that there IS hope after loss.
Over the last 11 years, I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t know how that feels, so…” when a friend or loved on loses a child. They’re paralyzed with fear over what to say, how to say it, how to empathize, how to understand.
This movie, our community of parents hopes, will shed light on how it feels — how it looks on the inside, behind the scenes, in the marriage, in the heart.
But yesterday, as I was sharing a link on Facebook about the movie, I got a knot in my stomach. It tightened and made me lightheaded for a minute. I recognized the fear. It’s the same fear you get when somebody is going to check up behind you or search through your things, especially things that may be private.
You see? Letting someone see the heartache and pain that only comes with losing a child (no matter how or why) is like letting somebody look into your private, locked folders on your computer. It’s giving them a key to your heart and giving them free access to roam around and look.
Sure, I want people to understand a small portion of what grief feels like. And this movie will do just that. It will open the conversation and break the silence on a subject that is still, after a bazillion years, taboo.
I want you to know there is so much more that can’t be shown on a movie, no matter how perfect Minnie Driver’s performance is.
I want you to know there is so much more that can’t be shown on a movie, and I hope you never know what it is and how it feels. That is my prayer for you.