56 Pixar’s Up: On Grief and Broken Dreams

Up Christianity Pixar

Blurb: The experience of grief and broken dreams is often a lonely journey, yet Pixar’s Up gives us language to share it. Journey with the heartbroken Carl, and learn Christian wisdom for our seasons of loss.

Excerpt from episode

“… Grief, especially of losing a loved one is always a paradox. It is the paradox of letting someone go in this lifetime, while at the same time, honouring their memory forever. How this works out in real life is always a mystery, and hence grief, is sacred terrain indeed. If we could use the house that Elli and Carl had built as an illustration of Carl carrying his grief, we see how much Carl is very much attached to the house (literally) for most of the film. By the end of the story however, he learns not only to empty the house of its contents, but also to let it go (quite literally) into the clouds. And not because he loved Ellie any less, but because he discovered that Ellie was so much more than the house, and her influence upon him would always be in the heart, not in the external world. There was no shortcutting this realisation though. In some ways Carl had to physically, ritually take the house all the way to Paradise falls, in order to let it go. What’s the message here?

Wisdom tell us there is something significant about the physical rituals we perform as part of our grieving process. Physical activities like cleaning up the old room of a loved one, creating an album, burning the items of your old sinful life, or even doing something to spoil yourself are all ritualised ways of celebrating and letting go of a love. As embodied spirits, grief needs to be processed physically as much as spiritually.  And as Christians, who so celebrate the fleshly, incarnational dimension of our faith, we must also consider how our grief can be processed in physical ways too…”  

Video talk about the life of St Charles de Foucauld

Here is an introductory video by Fr James Wang to St Charles de Foucauld’s life as mentioned in the Practical Pilgrim reflection. About 30 mins.