In the days following Rick's death, I never imagined that something as simple as a TV show could help me heal. But today, my good friend Jennifer and I finished season one of the Gilmore Girls - the first in a long line of seasons we have on our agenda - and I began to reflect.
Several Wednesdays ago, Jennifer had the idea that we should start watching the show during our time together each week, because it is one of her favorites, but also because it's light and witty, a perfect escape. It's been hard for me to find shows or movies that won't hurt me in places, that are predictable enough to ease my fear of getting blindsided by storylines of suicide, violence, or tragic loss. Anything too sad or dramatic also seems to be wrong as a mood-lifter.
Jennifer brought over the Gilmore Girls one day and we've been watching ever since.
My time with my friend is sacred to me, as is the time I spend with all my friends. Wednesdays with Jennifer give me something to look forward to... something to plan on as a bright spot in my week... and it's a comfort to know that the Gilmore Girls are there with us as an escape from reality.
I can tell just how much of an escape the show is for me, because when we turn off the DVD for the evening and Jennifer goes home, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach again, like someone is whispering in my ear: "And now, back to reality."
It feels good to smile at the characters on the screen... to laugh at the antics of the plots... to lose myself in the town of Stars Hollow. I feel much the same way I always felt reading and re-reading Anne of Green Gables... there's an idyllic comfort in the Gilmore Girls and Stars Hollow, like a modern day Avonlea.
That's the thing about the show - it's like a place. You're there. Home. Happy. Invested. Content.
What makes the escape better is being able to share it with my friend. Actually, my friend is sharing it with me. I often feel like she wrote me a prescription for grief and it said "at least one dose of the Gilmore Girls one time per week."
It seems funny to credit a TV show with healing powers... but I do feel like my heart hurts less when I watch it.
Today, we held a mini-marathon, in a way we can't do on a Wednesday night after working all day, and finished the first season. She'll be back on Wednesday to begin Season 2. My heart already looks forward to hurting less.