Safe Haven– a Nicholas Sparks piece-centers on a young lady, Katie, falling in love with a widower, Alex, and his family. As she struggles with issues from her past, she meets a friend in the new town. In the end, we find out the friend really was the “spirit” of Alex’s wife. The whole time the wife’s spirit was there in order to help Katie through her struggles and encourage her to start a relationship with Alex and become part of the family she left behind. Throughout the movie we see how Alex’s kids, Josh and Lexie, cope with their mother’s death and how they slowly accept Katie into their lives. The audience is shown how the death of the mother, Jo, has impacted them and how they miss their mother. Each child coped differently and Josh took much longer to let Katie into his life then Lexie. They left her workspace in their house as she left in, and inside her desk she left specific letters for her children and for the woman whom would one day take her place. At the end of the movie, when Katie reads the letter meant for her, she is left with a family portrait from Jo. This is when she realizes who her friend was all along.
In this movie, we see how hard it can be for families to get over the deaths of their loved ones. By leaving Jo’s workspace, as it was when she was alive can be seen as a way of denying her death. In many cases family members keep things of those lost in order to keep a part of them with them. Each individual may do this for different reasons. It may be in order to remember key elements of their life or because it is too hard to come to terms that these materialistic things are no longer needed because of the loss.
We also see the portrayal of those who pass on stay with us and look over us. This can be seen as helpful because it allows the family to feel as though she is still with them and that not all of her is lost. The media can very easily shape our view on things as seen with this movie and death. After watching this movie it made me realize our view on death is more spiritual than biological. We like to think our loved ones are still with us after they pass; we like to think they will go to heaven and that they leave a legacy behind. By memorializing them we embrace their legacy. Memorializing them can come in many shapes and forms. Having Jo’s untouched workspace serves as her memorialization. Alex also kept the letters she wrote to give to their children at landmark times in their life as a way of assuring them that she is with them during big moments. This allows them to share these important times although she is no longer physically there with them.