Learning To Move On From 'This Is Us'
Entertainment

Learning To Move On From 'This Is Us'

I, like the Pearsons, am now exhaling, letting things go, not letting the past constantly taint the present.

144
NBC Universal

This is…

This is the year 2018.

This is the month of March (what a lovely spring we’ve been having).

This is space.

This is a classroom.

This is me.

"This is Us."

There is a wonderful power that comes from being able to say “This is…” The phrase signifies a fact – an immutable, unabashed fact. Last week was the season finale of the NBC hit show "This is Us" and it’s left a void in my life. But the void has also given me a chance to reflect and rewatch the series. This show pulls no punches and leaves no emotion untouched.

"This is Us" follows the Pearson family throughout multiple generations and time periods, supported and inspired by the strong patriarch and matriarch duo Jack and Rebecca, who are parents to triplets, Kevin, Kate, and Randall. Two of whom were birthed by Rebecca, and the last of whom was adopted after his father left him at a fire station on the same day that the twins were born. When the triplets, or the Big Three, are in their thirties (which happens in present day,) they each struggle with their own problems, while also looking back at their past. This reveals how their parents shaped them into the people they are today.

One of the most important parts of the series is being able to say “This is me” or “This is us” because each person on the show and their story is important. And each struggle is important — some of which seem explicit, while others are hidden in their interior — and contributes to their ability to be unafraid to claim their identity, whatever that may be.

A major plot point throughout the series has been the demise of Jack Pearson, a death that has resounded through two seasons and the past twenty years of the Pearson family. They each grieved his loss separately and in their own way, until the second season’s finale saw Rebecca, Kevin, Kate, and Randall collectively take a long exhale, releasing those demons, and making room for new people and new challenges.

This show, which I’ve watched with my mother, helps people bond. It delivers on multiple frequencies, which resonate with different problems. For me, the topic of loss and dealing with that loss has touched me in an almost ineffable way. I watched Jack Pearson, my personal all-time favorite fictional character (I know, I’m sorry, Chandler Bing), imbue his family with strength, support, acceptance and a passion that is able to make things happen and care for them by protecting them, comforting them when they were sad, and making so many gestures that seemed almost magical.

He turned the worst Thanksgiving into the best one with Pilgrim Rick. He did pushups with Randall on his back during a karate lesson, always made Kate feel like a princess and beautiful in her skin regardless of what others said to her, and helped pick Kevin up after an injury ended his football career.

He gave up his dream job of “Big Three Homes” so he could send Randall off to a special school that catered to his intellectual acumen and could have a financially stable job for the rest of the Pearsons.

He worked through his own demons, alcoholism and his abusive father, never letting them feel alone.

He instilled in them the idea that no matter where they go, the only people that would know everything that happened to them in the past, during their childhood would be themselves, and that they should always be able to rely on each other, the Big Three.

He loved his wife, acknowledging her as his rock and his partner. Jack and Rebecca were never separate, even though they maintained their own identities, they were a singular entity as Jack and Rebecca.

Then the Super Bowl episode came, and you saw his house, the house he constructed with his own hands, with all the memories of their lives, go up in flames. Even without having any notice, he immediately went into problem-solving mode and was able to get his family, their dog, and some prized items, out of the house. After heroically exiting the house, Jack and Rebecca calmly take the kids to their friend, Miguel’s house, and then go to the hospital to treat his burns.

Without any notice, Jack dies in the hospital while Rebecca is calling her mom to tell her about the situation. That moment, which forever marked the Pearson family, also left many viewers distraught, including me.

I watched this episode, alone, in the dark at midnight it took me three hours to finish because of the ponderous and solemn nature of the episode. Rebecca, Kevin, Kate, and Randall each found their own way of moving on, or not moving on. Rebecca, though quiet, made lasagna and found something that made her heartily laugh, a gift every year from Jack. Kevin used to avoid and get blackout drunk until this episode, where he finally talked to Jack at his favorite tree.

Kate just watched a video of her singing and her dad silently filming in the back, one of the last moments she and he shared together, and watched the Super Bowl, since the family was big on football. Randall always remained positive, celebrating the Super Bowl, with his own brand of Randall enthusiasm.

And it’s so true watching it, because everyone moves on in their own way. I am fortunate enough that I have not lived through such a tragedy. However, any type of loss still must be addressed. After recently breaking up with my first boyfriend, I’ve been able to relatively move on. I’ve continued on, focusing on work and school. I’ve dated here and there. But it doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten. It doesn’t mean I never cared, or don’t care now. Healing is a very personal ordeal, one that isn’t an even process for everyone.

During the third to last episode, Randall and his wife Beth are dealing with their foster child, Deja, moving back with her mother. Randall becomes obsessed with the idea and fixates upon it, even during his future brother-in-law’s bachelor party. On the other hand, Beth compartmentalizes and tries to have fun with Kate at her bachelorette party. Randall calls her out on this, insinuating that she’s heartless. Later she reveals to Kate that she never forgets Deja, whether she is cold or hungry, whether she’s scared or alone. Her ability to love and care isn’t always directly comparable to her external mood or actions, which I relate to.

I, like the Pearsons, am now exhaling, letting things go, not letting the past constantly taint the present, but not forgetting or letting go of my feelings, for both my own issues and the past two seasons of the show. And now, I’m looking to the future — finals, the summer, new semesters, internships, careers, relationships — and to the next season, as I wonder about the characters, as Kevin goes off to Viet Nam with Beth’s cousin, as Kate deals with her new husband’s depression, and Randall and Beth deal with Deja and the anger she harbors for her mother leaving her.

To the Big Three.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

13 Father's Day Shirts Under $30 To Gift The Dad Wearing The Same Two Every Day In Quarantine

You've been begging him to change it up, and now he won't have a choice.

Let's be honest: most of our dads are wearing the same shirts today that they probably wore while changing our diapers and holding our hands as we learned to walk. Sure, we love them for it. But whether you're quarantined with him wearing the same two shirts on rotation every week, or every time you FaceTime him, you know what he'll be wearing before he answers the phone, he needs to add some new items to his wardrobe rotation.

And you know dads — they'll feel guilted into using practically anything you were to give them. But these shirts are sure-fire ways to get him to switch up his wardrobe, and he'll be more than excited to wear each and every one of them. Plus, most of them are under twenty dollars, so no harm in dropping more than a couple in to your cart and letting Dad have his pick of his favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Hollis Tuttle To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

My Boyfriend Has Changed Since Quarantine Began, And I Don't Know What To Do

"All he says is 'I love you,' which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him."

Each week Swoonie B will give her advice on anonymous topics submitted by readers. Want to Ask Swoonie B something related to dating and relationships? Fill out this form here — it's anonymous.

Dear Swoonie B,

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost a year, which has been the best year of my life (as far as i know). Well we go to different schools and are both very involved in sports and school activities which makes it hard to see each other. During this quarantine it is especially hard. Since we haven't seen each other in over a week things are kind of tense. He won't really talk to me much and I always check in on him to make sure he is doing well and to just see how he is, ya know being a girlfriend. Well apparently that is driving him crazy and I don't understand how. I'm not being controling or clingy, i'm just checking in on him. While this is happening, I also have noticed how he just doesn't really care anymore. I'll leave him paragraphs of sweet love letters to wake up to and I encourage him throughout his day but I just don't get it in return. I love him with all of me and I obviously care about him a lot. Also, I've compared how he talked to me before all of this has happened. He was so sweet and caring, texting me a lot and telling me he loves me and just making sure everything is OK but he doesn't do that anymore. All he says is "I love you," which is great and all but OMG I can't get anything else out of him. He is a little stressed at home with trying to find another job to pay for his car, constantly having to do things for his mom, being responsible for his siblings, and managing school. I know thats a lot but im doing a lot too right now and going through a lot of the same stuff he is but It seems to me he just does not care and i don't know what to do. Please help me or give me some advice on what to say, what not to say, what to do, what not to do. Anything at this point will help. Thank you!

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "these are unprecedented times," I'd be rich. But that's because it's true!

Keep Reading... Show less
Tower 28

On paper, Amy Liu appears to be one of the most intimidating women in the beauty business. Not only did she launch her beauty marketing career at legendary Smashbox Cosmetics, she went on to lead luxury, high-end brands like Kate Somerville and Josie Maran — just to name a few.

But sitting down to meet Liu for the first time in an underground New York bar over a year ago felt like meeting a friend I'd known since childhood. As she walked into the bar in a chic red dress, it was impossible not to feel her immediate warm presence. When she talks about her history as an entrepreneur (and truly, at heart, she always was one), you don't get the sense that she's selling you anything, though with her impeccable taste, I'd use anything that had her glowing review attached to it.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sixth grade was the year that you were allowed to participate in a school sport. This was what my friends and I had all been waiting for since we started middle school. I had already made the cheer team with my friends, but I had to wait to start that in the winter since we cheered for basketball. I really wanted to have some sort of activity in the fall, but I did not know what to do. Somehow, I decided to run cross country. Not really sure how I decided on a sport where it was quite literally just running. A few of my friends were doing it as well, so I knew it was going to be fun.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Working Out Every Day During Quarantine Helps Me Feel A Sense Of Control

Physical activity helps my mental health in a world that feels uncertain.

Before the pandemic, I exercised a handful of times a week at best. In quarantine, I've been exercising every single day. I don't want this article to be another spiel about how exercise "changed my life," and all the other cliches that health gurus use to convince others to work out more. Rather, I want to reveal that exercise is a tool that works for me because it boosts my mental health when I feel like the world is spiraling out of control.

Keep Reading... Show less

To say that 2020 has been a bit of a roller coaster is an extreme understatement. Who knew that this decade was going to start off like THIS!? Not me, not you, and not that sweet old lady who lives down the street. One thing is certain though — while the world may be a mess right now, you can still fuel your body with food that keeps you happy and healthy. Thankfully, as we are all spending more time inside, you can get healthy snacks delivered straight to your front door! Amazon has never been more convenient (and tasty).

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments