‘Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’: Zoey Will Have to Prepare for Her Father’s Death
Zoey, the title character on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, isn’t a fan of facing difficult situations head-on. Unfortunately, one situation she’s been trying to avoid is going to catch up to her eventually–her father’s impending death. Zoey has been trying to downplay his failing health, but she will need to face reality sooner or later.
How can Zoey finally face the music and prepare to say goodbye to her father? Showbiz Cheat Sheet chatted with Audrey Hope, a trauma therapist and addictions specialist at Seasons in Malibu, to get her take on Zoey and how she’s coping. Here’s what she had to say.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet: Zoe has been throwing herself into work instead of dealing with her father’s declining health. Is there a better way Zoe can get through this tough time?
Audrey Hope: You cannot hide a nuclear bomb in your body and expect it to go away. You have to deal with the pain and on a deep physical and emotional level or it will make you sick. Denial never works. It is like locking the pain in a closet and putting more and more things inside of it. And then one day, it explodes, and opens with way too much for one person to handle. You can’t keep ignoring the truth of how you feel. You have to cry it out and punch it out, hit a pillow and get down with the primal raw energy of grief.
CS: What advice would you give someone who is preparing themselves for the death of a loved one with a prolonged illness?
AH: Grief is a toxic energy like no other. Think of it as a volcano, a hurricane, or a nuclear bomb that is living inside of you. All the while, you are trying to be okay and calm it. It is nearly impossible to do that, and trying to do so can cause anger and more pain. When it comes with the trauma of losing someone, don’t try to immediately be OK. Know the truth, that it is hard and painful to overcome grief, but once you get to the other side of it, you will be changed.
CS: Zoe is grieving the life she once had with her father (he used to be healthy, but now he can’t walk, speak, or feed himself). How can she enjoy the remaining time she has with him instead of dwelling on what they once had?
AH: Zoe can be grateful that she has more time with her dad in whatever form that takes. Time is a gift and the person who is ill will treasure every little thing you do with them. They do not want you to suffer and you can give them that gift by showing them you are doing your best.
CS: How long does it take to feel back to normal and fully move through the grieving process after a loved one has died?
AH: There is no time frame with grief; it comes in waves. One day you are fine and the next day you are not. You cannot apologize for the path it takes as it is different for everyone. Just ride it out, do the most you can, and do not apologize for the time it takes. People who love you, friends and family who have been through grief, will understand the process and be there for you.
CS: Anything to add?
AH: There is more to life than what we see, and when you have a spiritual perspective, you can rest in the loss and celebrate the beauty of life.
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