This is us – Jack’s death

Last year I wrote a bit about the TV show This is us.

Spolier alert:  Not appropriate to read if you have yet to watch the 2/4 episode of This is US.

Sunday night, after the Superbowl, it was the episode where you finally find out / see how Jack dies.  Tim had asked me over and over when I watched the first season, “do you know how the dad dies yet?”  The show was too much for him, too intense.  It’s amazing to me to see this same anxiety in his daughter.  I took the girls to the secondary school’s “The Little Mermaid” on Sunday, and in the “awkward” love scene parts A asked me if we could leave… then at the end told me it was so amazing, and I was the best mom ever for taking them!  Just like her father, she could not handle awkward, or anxiety, and uncertainty.

Jack’s death was harder than I expected.  I mean, I’ve known for 2 years that he will die.  But it’s TV, I expected it to happen dramatically: in a car crash, somehow related to his drinking… even when I knew it was a fire, I thought for sure there was a connection.  But no.  He was a hero in the fire and survived it. And then.  He died a very ordinary death.  The heart.  The lungs.  The widow maker heart attack. The last conversation with his wife:  joking, teasing, ordinary.  In the hospital where his son was born. (and daughter)

I wrote before about not making comparisons.  All of our bad stuff is bad, we don’t have to say what’s better or worse.  And yet, I think it’s only human nature to “blink” – make those snap judgments, and feel that quick comparison.  It’s what I felt when I watched This is us.  There were so many similarities.  And the differences were/are up and down.  The ages of the kids.. pros and cons… the suddenness.. pros and cons.  But at the end of the day, it’s still dealing with the loss, and being strong for the kids.  Being able to tell the kids… knowing the right things to say.  And being able to feel all the pain of it.

Someone in my hot young widows club posted about the struggle of seeing people post about how hard it is for them to suffer TV characters’ deaths.  About how we live devastation every day, we don’t just watch it once a week.  And I get that point of view, I really do.   Mine though is usually along these lines… when people tell me they’ve never experienced a devastating loss… or even that their children haven’t.. my first thought is, with all sincerity “good for you!”  I’m really just so happy that the most difficult loss they’e had is Jack, from This is us.  And I am grateful to the show for making people feel all the feels.  This episode was surprisingly difficult.  But necessary for me.

“…Take the sourest lemon that life has to offer… and turn it into something resembling lemonade.” ~ This is US

Author: marybethgaige

Mother. Sister. Daughter. Widow. Friend. Worker. Lover.

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