Do you believe that something beautiful can come out of deep pain? That’s one of the key messages of the film Collateral Beauty, which stars Will Smith as a grieving father. I recently watched Collateral Beauty and was struck at how this movie might be useful for us when we are walking alongside someone in deep grief.
In the movie, Will Smith portrays Howard, a successful advertising executive whose life begins to fall apart after his young daughter dies after succumbing to cancer. Howard retreats from life. He retreats from his friends and responsibilities. In some scenes, Howard doesn’t speak but no words are needed because the viewer sees the consuming grief on his face and vibrating throughout his entire body.
Although I have never lost a child to cancer, after watching this movie, I feel I have a more realistic feel for what this type of deep grief is like. It informs my compassion, and reminds me why, as caregivers, it’s so important to respect the grief journey.
Do you know someone who is in deep grief? Perhaps you can watch this movie to learn more about one man’s journey through suffering. And then, you can reach out to your friend and simply “be there” for them. That one simple act will provide a moment of beautiful hope in your friend’s darkest hour.