Dear readers, I know you have come to count on me for a weekly laugh. I know this because you write me wonderful, uplifting, magical notes that tell me so, and I am so glad I can bring smiles and laughter into your life. However, I must warn you right up front, there is nothing funny about grief, and I can't imagine you'll be finding many chuckles is this week's column. In fact, it's going to be downright depressing. It appears that Michael is dead, and the topics at hand this week were sorrow, loss, heartbreak and grief which do not lend themselves to humor.
In the past year, I have grieved the loss of 5 members of my family, not to mention a co-worker who just dropped dead at his desk one morning. I lost my father, my sister, my grandfather, an aunt and an uncle. As I sit here writing this, I have a cousin who grew up next door to me and is my same age who's been given a month to live. I am well acquainted with grief.
As you can imagine, watching GH was difficult for me this week. Watching the various families of Port Charles grieve the loss of Michael was incredibly heartbreaking. I cried for little Michael, though I didn't just feel the loss of a fictional TV character; all of my own losses filtered into my blubbering.
Last Tuesday, March 8th would have been my Dad's 80th birthday, and our first without him. I had a meltdown at work and was at my desk doubled over sobbing. My co-workers whom I know truly love me, didn't know what to do for me. It's like watching someone drown from the shore when you don't know how to swim and cannot save them. I couldn't make myself stop sobbing and left work and had to pull my car over twice driving home as I couldn't see to drive through my tears. So when I saw Carly receive the news that Michael was dead, and she wailed and clawed at people and slumped to the floor in hysterical screams, making noises that human beings only make when they are in enormous pain (or Emmy-Caliber actresses like Tamara Braun) I knew EXACTLY how she felt.
When Jason refused to move off the steps at the Brownstone where Faith's partner in crime was gunned down and couldn't make himself leave that spot, not wanting to walk back into a world where Michael no longer existed - I recalled the day in September when I sat on a bench and stared at the lake where my father's ashes were scattered and fought the urge to dive into the alligator infested water just hoping part of him would touch my body and stick, fully unable to move from that spot.
As much as I mock silly storylines, I applaud the real face the writers have given to grief. Grief, they say, is a black hole you tiptoe around by day and fall into at night. Each person expresses it differently...Alan is furious and lashing out looking for someone to blame. He is taking out his pain on Jason, the son that was once his pride and joy. Monica mourned Michael's death, but went to Jason to reaffirm her love for him, and let him know she does not blame him. She spoke to him with great tenderness about his parenting and in glowing terms about his impact on Michael's life. John Durant is selfishly using Michael's death to further his agenda of breaking up Carly and Sonny for good and trying to get her into the witness protection program. Mike waxed poetic to the local teens about his regret at being a bad parent, and the importance of family and decides to make up for lost time and heads over to comfort Sonny, even knowing he may be unwelcome. The masterminds behind Faith's prison break, Luke, Skye, Justus, and Dillon have to come to grips with the fact that their part in helping Faith escape leads directly to 3 kids being kidnapped and to Michael's death. (Okay, I confess, I did think ONE funny thing this week - Isn't it funny that the only thing that got Dillon through his guilt and grief was a little Sexual Healing from "Like a Virgin But Not Anymore" Georgie? MmmHmm)
Jason, who is supposed to be brain damaged and unable to feel anything, has proven that he does feel - he feels utter remorse for promising to keep Michael safe and being unable to fulfill that promise. He feels the loss of his most cherished little friend. He feels the loss of a connection to innocence that Michael brought to hid dark world. Courtney expresses her grief by telling Jax anecdotes of Michael and celebrating his loopy little life. Jax, thanks to Rachel, gets jealous of Courtney hugging Jason in the emergency room and starts to pout a little bit until Courtney reassures him he's the one. Sam seeks to ease the pain of those around her by volunteering to step in and take over the small details the family shouldn't have to contend with.
Carly was all over the map. She clings to Morgan and mourns Michael in shifts; she cannot handle those 2 emotions simultaneously. Grief leaves no room for anything else, when it's about its presence consumes you - so we see her close grief's door to hold and smile at Morgan, and open the door to the absolute blackness again when she is alone. She also has to be the strong one and play peacemaker to all the warring parties that want to find out who is to blame for Michael's death. Carly is remarkably strong, but about to break from the weight of it all. Sonny, has pushed everyone away and is holing himself up alone in his room, blaming himself in one moment, and looking for someone else to blame in the next as to take the responsibility of Michaels' death on himself would crush him.
Reese is devastated that she was not able to solve the case, and wants to stay on and find out who paid Faith, but is now asked to take her ties to Sonny and use them to bring him down, which rubs her the wrong way. Ric learned the hard way that the revenge he wanted on Sonny all these years really didn't taste as sweet as he imagined it would and feels sorry for the brother he has spent a lifetime resenting. Alexis clings a little tighter to Kristina, knowing it could have been her child that was lost, but also genuinely saddened by Michael's loss. Diego and Lorenzo take the chance to explore what being a father and son might BE like, and when Lorenzo comforts Carly, we see Sage's death still haunting his eyes. Bravo to every writer on the GH team for making this so compelling and multi-faceted, and real, exploring grief at a dozen angles, and if you need any tips, I can give you a few more ways you could play it.
But I doubt it will be necessary. Faith WAS trying to tell us something when she got shot, and she WAS trying to tell Sonny something when she died in GH - and Reese has a hunch it's not over, and Jason has an inkling it's not over, so - is it over? Stay tuned, dear readers.
The thing that made me happiest this week was Carly and Lorenzo. Trust is a very rare thing. If you have someone in your life that you trust and who trusts you and no matter what pile of evidence was presented to you, you would still have absolute faith in them, you're blessed. Say it aloud if you have that - I AM BLESSED. Lorenzo got arrested and the circumstantial evidence "proved" he was Faith's accomplice, but he looked Carly in the eye and said "I would not do this to you." And she trusted in his love enough to believe him in spite of the evidence. I SO want them to fall in love and live happily ever after. Why? When there is a love that is genuine and real, but the circumstances appear that it can't ever happen, and then the doors open wide and It CAN happen? Well I don't mind admitting I am a sucker for that sort of thing. Lorenzo has loved Carly for a LONG time and it's about damned time he GETS her, don't you think? That sort of devotion should pay off, methinks. (If you're a downloading music sort of person, go pay your .88 cents and find David Wilcox's "Show the Way")
What will happen tomorrow dear readers? Will Lucky sleep with Emily at Wyndemere so when she ends up pregnant we will have *3* possible fathers? Will Courtney see Sonny with that "I want to shoot someone" look in his eye and get him to plug Rachel? Will Alan take over Sonny's territory when he leaves the mob so he can finally bond with Jason? Will Faith have an EVILER Evil twin so the magnificent Cynthia Preston can come back? Will Brook Lynne find someone new to bicker with when her parents split town?
Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.