Month: September 2016


I’m writing this in church because I can’t focus. And maybe writing this down will help.

Tonight, a young man was baptized. As he was entering the baptismal, a boy and an older man walked up on stage. I assumed they were younger brother and father. Immediately emotions were stirred thinking of my brother.

At our church, prior to each baptism, a video interview is played so we get a glimpse of who the baptized person is and of their story. The young man talked about how his life had some hard things happen when he was around 8 and 9. Stuff that was hard enough, he perceived God as being evil.

Taylor was 8 when mom was diagnosed with cancer, 10 when she died.

Beyond that, there was no other meaningful connection to the person now standing in the water, but I had become emotionally connected to him and his story.

Moments of grief pop up at strange times, cause strange connections, and distract you in strange ways.

Now, maybe sharing this will allow me to focus.


Stranger Things

It’s been awhile… so I’m back with this:

I have, like many people, watched and loved Stranger Things. I have, like many people, had a hard time with how Winona Ryder played her character… at first.

Spoilers may happen below. But I will try to keep it subtle.

In the first episode or two, the frenzied panic of Joyce Byers irked me. Then, a hard truth sunk in. If anyone has the right to be frenzied and panicked, it is a parent whose child is missing. All the more if local law enforcement, who is responsible for finding said child, seems apathetic.

I pictured my dad. His son was dead, a hard reality but one with more clarity than a missing child where time may be of the essence. The police were actively on the case from the start. They were very empathetic and supportive to my parents. There was a chunk of time during which they could not give us details because the investigation was sensitive, but it wasn’t due to apathy. They found the man who killed my brother, he confessed, and is currently in prison. All along my dad experienced various stages of anger and frustration. “Why aren’t they doing more?” “Why are they lowering his sentence?” “Why…” He does not normally have a nervous disposition. He does not normally react in anger when things get hard. But this was different. This was his child.

Joyce lives life with the nervous disposition of a poor, single mother of two. Even through the flashbacks, we see a glimpse of the fact that her life is stressful and that she doesn’t always handle it well. Throw on top of that the events in the first episode. It is perfectly believable that she would have a complete breakdown in desperation of seeing her boy again.

I late came across this article. Riddled with more spoilers, but with a good analysis of the women in the show, including Joyce.

Sometimes it makes us uncomfortable when Hollywood bypasses calculated grief to show the authentic grief of a parent in distress.