Can Movies Help with Grief?

Grief is an intensely personal emotion experienced in many different ways by different people. Some counselors recommend movies as a way to ease the pain and process the grief.  

Movies that are full of emotion can be cathartic. They can also provide an opportunity for discussion and may help people to process their own feelings, which can be beneficial not only for adults but for children too. Seeing characters work through emotions similar to the ones they are feeling can help children understand their grief and know they are not alone.  

Carefully choose the films you think might help your family, especially if young children are watching. You may find that you can use the situations and emotions shown to prompt discussions about loss. Here are some movies that experts recommend to help with grief: 

For adults:  

  • Steel Magnolias 
  • Beaches 
  • The Big Chill 
  • Terms of Endearment 
  • Truly Madly Deeply 
  • P.S. I Love You 
  • The Notebook 
  • One True Thing 
  • The Bucket List 
  • Rabbit Hole 
  • What Dreams May Come 
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close 
  • Reign Over Me 

To watch as a family:  

  • Up 
  • Inside Out 
  • Coco 
  • Big Hero 6 
  • We Bought a Zoo 
  • Fly Away Home 
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 
  • My Life as a Dog 
  • My Girl 
  • Marley and Me 

For very young children: 

  • The Lion King 
  • The Fox and the Hound 
  • The Land Before Time 
  • Finding Nemo 
  • Bambi 

When you lose a loved one, finding ways to work through grief is important, and having a meaningful funeral helps many people begin to heal.  

At Greenwood Memorial Park, we want to help you plan a service that honors your loved one’s life and sets you on the path toward healing. For more than a century, we’ve provided exceptional service, caring for people of all cultures and faiths, and are committed to celebrating the unique life of each individual while respecting the wishes of every family. Visit in person, check out our Plan Ahead page or call (619) 241-4312 to learn more. 

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