Co-Presidents’ Message – November 2023

Oct 31, 2023 | Co-President's Messages

Over here, we lost some of them. But over there, they lost all of us.

That’s a quote from the final scene of, perhaps, my all-time favorite TV show. I have a tendency to seek out extremely emotional TV shows and movies. If it doesn’t involve loss of some kind, or on some level, I keep looking until I find something that does. Initially, I think I liked having control over when I felt feelings of loss. 
There aren’t a ton of options so I end up re-watching the same TV shows or movies over and over again.  I just finished re-watching my favorite show, every episode of every season, for at least the 10th time. I only discovered this show in 2021. The show, on the surface, is all about loss. Literally every character we meet in the first season has experienced a significant and traumatic loss.  Their losses are never the same even when they are. 
The series follows every character as they face their ghosts, run from them, or find themselves completely paralyzed by them. Everyone does it differently, they judge and criticize each other for how they’re acting/reacting, how they are responding (or not) to their loss, and everything and everyone feels chaotic and confusing and lost.  The first season ends and I felt hope. 
The theme of loss never departs from the show- it is always incredibly present and is the core of most relationships and conversations. The more present or the more talked about the loss was, the lighter and
less chaotic things felt…I think because there was less secrecy, everything was out in the open. 
When scenes and character storylines were most confusing, with no plausible or possible explanation, the more I found myself believing in them and wanting them to be true… because I think sometimes we have to tell ourselves stories to help us move forward. 
By the end of the series, you realize every character confronted their loss and you experience the enormity of each character’s growth.  It wasn’t something I was too conscious of throughout the show but during the final two episodes it became so clear.  I love that that happened.  I love that growth came from loss and that it was shown as a process and not something to suddenly achieve.  Because it didn’t just happen- they were growing every day- even if we couldn’t see it.  And I think we are growing every day too- even if we can’t see it for ourselves. 
The quote at the beginning is from one of the main characters sharing a story about their loss.  It was a story told so vividly, and felt so real to me, that upon rewatching the show, I found myself waiting for that scene to happen- only to realize that scene didn’t exist- I only heard a story about it.  How powerful sharing a memory can be.  
That scene is also, arguably, the most talked about, debated, and discussed scene in the entire series. The scene answers the question everyone has been asking and trying to understand or figure out since the opening moments of the first episode.  The answer didn’t matter because we were asking the wrong question. 
‘Over here we lost some of them. But over there, they lost all of us’.  That statement has redefined how I feel about loss.  Did I lose my older brother? Yes. Did my parents lose their son? Yes. Did my sister-in-law lose her husband and my nephews their father? Yes.  As different as our losses may be, we all lost the same one person.  But my brother? Their son, husband, and father?  He lost all of us.  I don’t know. It just made me realize how much I had only been able to focus on my and my family’s loss.  When I thought of my brother, I only felt loss. 
It’s not like that now.  What I feel is connectedness and hope. I lost him and I am still here. You lost someone and you are still here. So that means we are all still here and we are together, we are connecting, and we are making sure that none of us (ourselves included) have to do this life alone.  To everyone in our little COPE world – thank you for still being here, with me, together.