Resources for Loss

"The Babadook" (2014 film), contributed by Aiden Alanmanou (2023)

"The Babadook" is a monster horror film directed by Jennifer Kent that follows a grieving single mother who is struggling to raise her son after the sudden and tragic death of her husband in a car accident. The monster evidently represents the trauma the family feels towards the lost father – it repeatedly transforms into the haunting visage of the man, growing in power as the mother and son struggle to deal with their loss in their daily lives.
    However, it is precisely the film's deviations from the precedent of most monster horror that makes it memorably meaningful. Typically, the monster is either conclusively defeated or defeats the main characters. Instead, the film ends in an odd stalemate – the monster shrinks back to the recesses of the home and must be constantly acknowledged with a meager bowl of dirt and worms lest it haunt the family again. 
    This distinction makes the film a powerful allegory for the struggle of grief - especially one as significant as the loss of a parental family member. The monster, like grief, will never truly disappear as it has become an immutable part of life. Instead, mourners must acknowledge the meaningfulness of the dead in the same breath that they lay them to rest, and this cycle must continue every so often, if the survivors are to appreciate their lives in both the past and the present.

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