Friday, August 28, 2015


I think this is a wonderful counterpoint to the inspiration porn that occupies so much of the limited scope our media affords the disabled. She speaks with a rawness that most actors work their whole lives to imitate, but hers is no act. I think the curative norms in our culture extend to how we examine and react to things like disability in society. We try to see triumph over tragedy and think it will somehow inspire us to re-characterize whole categories of people in our mind.

Her voice bleeds authentic notes and quivers with a vulnerability that primetime prefers whispered or implied. She is not here with a handful of sugar and sunshine telling us everything will be fine. Everything may be fine, ultimately, but sometimes it hurts, and she doesn't want to hide that.

It is rare that we confront moments like grief in our society, and leave it unadorned by good sentiment. The sad truth of loss is that no matter what we say or do, no matter how hard we try to adjust, loss hurts, and nothing in the world can take that away. Confrontation itself is a process that we engage in and change, and yet in so many ways it happens apart from us. Grief doesn't wait. It doesn't care that you missed the bus, your feet are cold, and the snow won't stop, it's here screaming at you and it demands your attention.

And what are we to do?

There is nothing in our confrontation that will make it hurt any less, because pain is its essence. Pain is the consequence of love lost. The love of family and friends may ground you, but in the end, sometimes, all you can do is hurt and keep going on.

There is, of course another side to this story. There is life after disability, and it can fulfill. However for some us, perhaps oversaturated with stories of triumph and themes that makes us feel good, it is good to gaze more closely on the uncomfortable circumstances which came before it, and the feeling of love and loss which we may come to terms with but will never leave our hearts.