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  • Jane Wheeler

Getting Grace

“Death is a once in a lifetime experience and I would kind of like to be there.” These are the words of a dying teenage girl in the award-winning movie “Getting Grace” after a doctor tells her he could give her something to make dying easier.

I was privileged to go to a screening of this movie the other night, it has won 5 awards. Along with the movie the two main stars also came to our city to do question and answer, offer photo opportunities and discuss the hard questions. Daniel Roebuck is one of the stars, the director and the brainchild behind this movie. Madelyn Dundon was the young star who played the part of teenage Grace. In order to get the part, she had to be willing to shave her head to make the role more believable. Grace is quirky, inquisitive, funny, loveable and obnoxious all in the same breath. Think of Ann with an E (Anne of Green Gables) on steroids and you have a Grace.

The movie talks about a subject, very few of us are willing to address, much less talk about – dying. However, the movie is a comedy and was done so tastefully that it made this subject “okay”. Are there some tears? Of course!

A teenage girl has cancer and she sets out to find out what happens when people die by befriending and crashing a funeral home. The movie addresses death from the perspective of Grace, her mother, her friends – it shows the gamut of emotions that circle around this subject, along with the different ways people try to totally avoid dealing with it.

What ends up happening is that Grace teaches everyone, including the audience, how to “live” instead of how to die.

The GP Palliative Care Centre brought the movie to Grande Prairie to help start hard conversations that people are often reluctant to talk about.

Daniel Roebuck at the question and answer period said, “how you live is how you will leave.”

Friends, so many of us are walking around like the walking dead, afraid to feel, afraid to be hurt, afraid to take those chances.

What if….?

What if today or tomorrow is your last day? What have you got on your bucket list? Who do you need to go see? Who do you need to forgive? Who do you need to tell how much you love them?

If anything, this movie teaches you to walk in the now, not wait for the future, because who knows how much future we actually have.

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