As some of you may know from my post, For the Love of Geek, my uncle passed away last year. We were very close and he’s one of the major reasons I love comics, anime and SF/F today. He was the first major death I’ve experienced. When I read Batman #18 by Scott Snyder a few weeks ago, it hit me hard. Very hard. If you’re not familiar with what’s going on in that series, Damian Wayne aka Robin, Bruce’s son was killed. In issue 18, Batman struggles to deal with the death of Robin. He acts recklessly and overworks himself and does everything in his power to not have to deal with the death of his son.
It takes skill to authentically replicate the mourning process in any work of fiction. Everyone mourns differently. Not only did I feel Batman’s pain, I could relate. I know what it’s like to keep yourself busy so you don’t have to think about the loved-one you lost. Or occupy your mind with work, TV, reading, games and pretty much anything that will keep you from being sad. You try to fill that hole with these things, but you know it’s never going to work. I knew what I was doing. I knew that I would keep myself busy on purpose so I didn’t have to think about it.
This issue of Batman was the push I needed. No more distractions, this is something I need to face. I saw myself in Batman, and that’s what helped me realize that this wasn’t the way to deal with death.
I know this is really personal, but I write this in the hopes that it helps others in the way it has helped me. If Batman could do it, so can I.