A Masterful Study in Grief

I’m a big fan of the Marvel franchise. I love the combination of suspended reality, comedic highlights, action, romance, and the way that characters have been allowed to develop as the Infinity Saga unfolded. One of the highlights for me has been the WandaVision Disney+ series. A spin-off based around the character Wanda, WandaVision explores Wanda’s emotional response to the events of the previous films and ultimately, the loss of her partner Vision. WandaVision, simply put, is a masterful study in grief.

"I'm Just So Tired…"

‘What’s this got to do with me’ I hear you say! Well, I’d like to ask you a question… Have you heard yourself saying “I’m just so tired” lately? You see it is this phrase that Wanda uses to describe the feeling of grief and sorrow that drives her actions in the series. In a conversation with Vision she says “I’m so tired…. It’s just like this wave washing over me, again and again. It knocks me down, and when I try to stand up, it just comes for me again… It’s just gonna drown me”.

This powerful way of describing what grief feels like echoes deep in my soul as I reflect on the last few years. For the longest time I couldn’t name what it was that I felt, only a bone aching exhaustion. I didn’t think I could call it grief because I hadn’t lost anyone I was close with, I’d not been ill with Covid, nor had anyone in my immediate family or circle of friends. But as I watched that scene between Wanda and Vision I found tears pouring down my face, here was someone articulating what I had been feeling and naming it as grief.

So, I did a bit of digging into what is grief – grief is ‘keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret’. Whilst these emotions can come from bereavement, they can also come from the loss of other things too; redundancy, financial security, a broken relationship…

Where did all the Purpose Go?

Throughout the last couple of years I think we’ve all lost three key things:

  • Connection
  • Autonomy
  • and Purpose

Covid has left nobody untouched.


We’ve all been impacted by the sense of separation that the virus has imposed upon us, whether that has been through bereavement or physical distance, or the need to self-isolate. Those connection points we had around the dinner table with friends, or coffee in the park with that other struggling mum were lost. Chit-chat around the office silenced and forced behind blue-lit screens in pjs or boxers! Even the moments on the school run which used to give your teenager a bit of space to grunt out a few sentences were lost as home learning kept them in their bedrooms. Tiny connection points vanished, giving way to huge chasms of loneliness and loss.


We’ve had our autonomy taken away from us, our sense of independence and choice has been eroded away as necessary precautions were imposed. We could also no longer make plans. We could also call this a loss of control, we had little control over what was happening in our lives. The choice of whether to send our kids to school or not was taken away, whether we could pop down the road to visit the neighbour we’ve known for years or worship in Church. What we went through created a culture of uncertainty and loss of control. Facing uncertainty like that can be unbearably draining. No wonder we’re so tired


I also think that for many of us we’ve lost our sense of purpose. We’re a society who ‘do’, we take action, we fund-raise, we rally when there’s a crisis. But faced with this invisible threat all we could do was stay behind our closed doors; inaction was the safest course. I found myself asking the question “who am I?” when all the things that I thought made me ‘me’ – hospitality, community, gathering those on the edges of society, were taken away. My driving force, my purpose felt lost somewhere between the first ‘Hands, Face, Space’ slogan and Lateral Flow Testing. When my purpose, connection and autonomy were taken away my identity was confronted, I lost who I was, and I had to grieve that loss. I wonder if this is resonating for you?

Lost in the Woods

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, described grief like being lost in the woods: “Deep grief sometimes is almost like a specific location, a coordinate on a map of time. When you are standing in that forest of sorrow, you cannot imagine that you could ever find your way to a better place. But if someone can assure you that they themselves have stood in that same place, and now have moved on, sometimes this will bring hope.” I tell you my story so that you know that someone has stood in that same place. I called it my ‘valley of death’ because Psalm 23:4 resonated:

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

Yes, it was dark, yes I was tired, yes I could barely put one foot in front of the other some days, but I knew that God was there with me. And the days that I couldn’t see God with me I stubbornly held on to scriptures that promised His comfort.

2 Corinthians 1:4 says:

“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 

What are the Bible passages that could speak to you during this time?

Love Persevering

Beginning to heal from grief starts with acknowledging that we are experiencing grief. Further in their conversation Vison says to Wanda that he does not know what grief is like as he never had anyone or anything to lose before, but he makes a poignant observation. He says “What is grief, if not love persevering? Vision is suggesting that grief is not just a consequence of loss, but rather of your love living on, persevering. When grieving a person this makes sense, we have loved them deeply and that love does not diminish, it just changes. Grieving loss like identity or autonomy becomes slightly more complex, but I think that nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom. Those things we lost don’t go completely, they transform and inform who we are becoming next. When the butterfly sheds its cocoon, it is different than it was, but it was always once a caterpillar, the loss of that form can’t take that away from it.

So be kind to yourself. If you find you are tired, ask if you might be experiencing grief. Talk about it, someone else is probably experiencing what you are too, you aren’t alone. Finally, turn to God the source of all comfort, who walks with us in the valley and on the mountain and who loves you deeply.

By Rhianne O'Rourke
Psalms 23:4 pinterest pin
Blog post on transforming through sorrow at The Hope Table UK based Christian blog for Christian women
2 Corinithians 1:3-4 pinterest pin
Blog post on transforming through sorrow at The Hope Table UK based Christian blog for Christian women

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