How Batman Helped Me Deal with Death

batman18bfAs 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.


  1. Sorry for you loss Jamila. You have my condolences. I remember when my aunt Lisa passed away last year. She had breast cancer, and the doctor’s said so only had a few months to live. I didn’t get the chance to go to the funeral, but I remembered something. I remembered all the fun and good times I had with her because she meant a lot to me. So, just remember all the good times you had with your uncle, and the influence he made on you.


  2. Very brave of you to speak about this… a lot of us don’t want to face things like death. I’ve faced it myself, and it’s never easy, no matter how many times you have to. I do hope that things get better for you. Sincerely.


  3. It’s great how animated fiction can help us heal and cope with certain difficult situations in our lives. When I read this, I thought about an episode of Naruto Shippuden that dealt with one of the minor characters grieving the loss of his sensei. It was truly a brilliant episode, and being that I had suffered a similar loss a few years passed, I could connect with him. Unfortunately I didn’t have the influence of that episode to help me through my healing process when I myself was grieving, although I wish I had.
    Great read, my condolences.


  4. Batman’s amazing like that. He helped me deal with a loss too. It’s different from yours, but it’s very important to me, and Batman helped me through it. It’s amazing how a work of fiction can be the very thing that helps you cope with issues real life or make you understand them. Some people have therapists but we have superheroes and time lords and supernatural investigators and brave little knights and even princesses, that save the day for us in more ways than one. We see ourselves in them, and we see ourselves stronger than we thought we were.

    I know I’ve told you this before, but I am sorry for your loss. No one should have to go through that, especially when it’s someone or something that means the world to them. But somehow it’ll make you better… Stronger… And I think that’s pretty amazing. Especially since you’re someone I look up to.

    Take care.


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