(Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios/Disney)
By Zelda Dominguez
We were created for relationship – with God first, and then with each other. The Bible emphasizes community. This is what makes Christianity unique — the God we worship wants a personal relationship with us! Intimacy. That’s relational. Christianity isn’t about a bunch of rules, it’s about a relationship with our Creator and with each other. And only Jesus can enable this to happen redeeming us and restoring what He intended.
Relationships require somewhat of venerability and with that comes the possibility of hurt loss and pain. We can all relate to some sort of loss. Two years ago, our relatively stable lives and structures were upended by the pandemic. We collectively went through incredible amounts of grief and pain that some of us are still processing.
Grief is a normal part of life because we are relational beings. Grief is unavoidable. There are various forms of loss and that is why we grieve.
Healthy grief has a function. It allows survivors to identify, acknowledge, feel and integrate what they love but are now without. Everyone will grieve but not everyone grieves the same and that’s OK.
In terms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they have depicted so many varied relationships that come with grief and loss. It has been the backstory for many fictional relationships. At its core, it is part of who these characters are and the reason those left behind become who they are.
We all know Peter Parker lost his uncle Ben. His death sparked the transformation of Peter into Spider-Man. Thor’s loses his whole family and planet just like Wanda Maximoff loses her parents, twin brother Pietro as well as Vision who are all killed. Tony Starks’s parents were murdered at the hands of Bucky (The Winter Soldier), thus that situation ever changed Tony’s and Steve Rodgers relationship. Black Widow gave her life so that half of the universe could live. After the struggle between her and Hawkeye, his heart is broken to have lost her and turns into Ronin. Tony Stark with the infinity stones in hand and a snap of his fingers saves the universe in a truly unselfish act. At his funeral, it is evident the impact and loss felt by all present including his daughter and wife Pepper makes a huge mark. May Parker, Peter’s aunt who raised him was fatally wounded by the Green Goblin. Thanos used the Time Stone to ensure he could strip the Mind Stone from Vision’s forehead, leaving him dead and impacting Wanda, forever changing her reality. Stephen Strange is so grieved by the loss of his girlfriend Christine in a car accident it moves him to study the mystic arts hoping to achieve the power to avoid her tragic fate.
There are just some of the instances we see in the MCU as various characters deal with relationships and experience grief, death, trauma, and loss which is something we relate to. In turn, everyone has had the misfortune of losing something or someone they care about or will at some point. We as the survivor have to learn how to go on with life no matter what type of loss we experience.
As we see in these films and TV series, actions that are driven by our pain can affect other people. No matter who or what causes our trauma, it’s ultimately our own responsibility to recognize it, and not pass it to other people. As Wanda states, “But what is grief if not love persevering.”