The Collateral Beauty

Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods. Colorado Springs, CO. Photo by JAH. October 2016.

I finally decided to watch the movie “A Collateral Beauty” which starred a cast of talented, and amazing actors/actresses (Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren–c’mon!). Not to worry–I won’t spoil the movie for you.

I have my own version of understanding exactly what a “Collateral Beauty” means. When I think of the word “collateral,” I always follow it with “damage”–as in there is war happening in this world and many innocent people become collateral damage to the carnage that war brings.  The collateral damage are those lives who just happened to be at the wrong place–at the wrong time.  Many of them are long forgotten, and their deaths are also forgotten by the world who first heard of their fate in a nightly news segment

But, what exactly is collateral beauty?  In the movie, Helen Mirren who was supposed to “death” advised one of the characters who lost her daughter to cancer, that she should never forget the “collateral beauty” around her.

I took this to mean that in death there is also love, and that there is also time to continue to love and be loved. Such words may not provide the comfort that a grieving soul may need–because when one is grieving–there are no words of comfort.  Perhaps, it is the hope that the significance of such words may resonate once the soul begins to heal, but forever changed.

However, there is also collateral beauty in other things: the loss of relationships.

I find that when relationships end, there is collateral beauty.

When a woman or a man experience the loss of a loving relationship, there is an awakening that occurs–it is the awakening within the self of embarking on a journey in life as one–and not two.

When a child whose parent (father or mother) was never present as he/she grows up, there is collateral beauty in realizing that his/her life was so much better off without such presence.

When a mother who loses a relationship with a child (through death) and realizes the collateral beauty of strength she draws within herself has helped her conquer over the many obstacles that was set in her path.

When one realizes that there are narcissistic people in the world, and one ends that relationship with a narcissist–the collateral beauty is that one also realizes that he/she is not a narcissist.

The collateral beauty is in all of us–we only need to look within ourselves and around us to see.



Chloe in the Garden of the Gods
A walk in the Garden of the Gods. Colorado Springs, CO. Photo by JAH. October 2016

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