So this might be a familiar show to some of you and others will not even recognize the majority of the actors. There are two though whom you might recognize: David Spade and Kaley Cuoco also known as ‘Penny’ from The Big Bang Theory. 8 Simple Rules was a show that suffered from a real loss. The main character named ‘Paul Hennessy’ from a normal yet dramatic family filled with teenagers, played by John Ritter, dies in the show but he also died in reality of Aortic Dissection. You consistently see the sadness and horrible stress that the family experiences in the last few episodes after Paul Hennessy’s death. I believe this show expresses death and dying and how the process of death, loss, and emotions flow even after the person has been gone for a little while.
The main character had two daughters and one son, a wife, father-in-law, and nephew whom are the main characters in these last few episodes. These characters go through some natural realizations to make them finally understand truly that this man is out of their life and they cannot get him back. There’s one of the concepts of death right there; irreversibility. I think that’s what makes people extra emotional even if they are just the viewers of the television show. When the realization starts that they lost someone who was so close and that they loved so much, they begin to notice this person is not coming back, which truly breaks a person. Paul’s family loses their composure, their strength as a family and it affects them so deeply that they cry, hug each other, fight with each other about how the kids thought that their dad didn’t love them, and shows events that a family would go through after the loss of someone like a parent at a young age.
Branching off from the character being at a young age as well; puts feelings and thoughts in peoples mind that say “he didn’t get to live the long life like we will”. Also, it shows dying at a young age is tragic and unfair. The kids are learning to deal with death of their father at a young age, it’s unexpected, unjust, and the fact that it happened to someone they were close with, making their life completely confusing. I’m blessed to still have both of my parents but I do know others who may only have a father or mother, sometimes neither. Most of these people I have met have a different perspective on life and live their lives fully and happily.
Even though the pain erases from our body as time passes by and we learn to grow from the loss of someone so close, we never forget them. It is hard at that time because we realize how it’s irreversible and that’s all we wish for; to have that person back in our life so we can be with them one more time. This television series showed viewers that death and dying is sad, irreversible, affects many people, and might make it more difficult to accept what has happened for some. This show did create a better understanding for others that death happens and there’s nothing wrong with crying, being depressed, feeling lost. The experience of loss makes you stronger as time goes on.
Above is a link to a video of the episode that focused on when the family first found out about the death of Paul Hennessy.