TV Shows About Grief: Finding Ways to Cope With Loss

Life and death are cyclical, and they inevitably bring about the loss of loved ones, be it a family member, a friend, or a cherished pet. But despite its ubiquity, the grief we go through when we experience loss is unique to each of us. Recognizing that reality and allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling without judgment or opposition is a crucial part of the grief journey. Learning about what you’re going through, connecting with others who are going or have gone through something similar, knowing when to accept help…these are all important ways to see yourself through to the other side of loss.

The Art of Love and Loss

Sometimes, connecting with others means reaching out to a friend or relative who is working through their own grief journey. Sometimes it means reaching out to a therapist or mental health professional to help you process your emotions in a healthy way. But sometimes, connecting with another person can happen purely through what they have created. Art has long been one of the most powerful shared experiences in the human condition. We see one another, and ourselves, through the beauty of art we connect with. 

Television shows about grief can be a source of relief, a place to confront our own feelings, or a cathartic immersion into a story that reflects the complex mix of feelings, memories, and thoughts in which we are enmeshed. Television has emerged as a powerful storytelling medium, especially in the last decade, and many shows treat death and suffering with a far more realistic and complex approach than in the past, portraying powerful narratives and characters that blend nostalgia, heartbreak, and even humor to help us navigate life's most challenging events.

In this article, we’re going to explore some of the best TV shows about grief. From gallows humor to heartfelt love stories, we’ll help you find a show that resonates with your experience and may just provide some relief and catharsis for what you are going through.

Connecting to Ourselves Through Storytelling

When we experience the loss of a loved one or beloved pet, the pain can feel all-consuming and isolating. However, well-crafted television shows that explore the complex emotions surrounding grief can offer a powerful source of solace and understanding during difficult times. By portraying characters grappling with intense emotions like sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, and loneliness, these shows help normalize our own experiences, reminding us that such feelings are common and valid responses to loss.

Well-crafted grief storylines have the ability to create a sense of emotional resonance and connection, allowing viewers to see parts of their own experiences reflected on screen. This can be immensely comforting, helping to alleviate the sense of isolation that often accompanies grief. These shows also frequently depict characters utilizing various coping strategies, such as seeking counseling, leaning on support systems, or finding healthy outlets for their emotions. By observing these methods, viewers may be inspired to adopt similar approaches in their own healing journeys.

Watching characters confront and express intense emotions related to grief can also provide a cathartic release for viewers dealing with repressed or unresolved feelings from their own losses. Television shows can create a safe space for viewers to vicariously experience and process difficult emotions. Over time, grief storylines may illustrate characters gradually adapting to their losses and finding a way to move forward, offering hope, context, and perspective to those who may feel stuck in the depths of their own grief and unsure when or how they might make it through to the other side.

Ultimately, television's portrayal of this universal human experience has the potential to open up conversations and prompt viewers to reflect more deeply on their personal experiences with loss. By depicting grief in a relatable way, these shows can help validate, educate, and provide a sense of connection and hope for those coping with loss in their own lives.

TV Shows About Dealing With Grief

For those who enjoy streaming services and the flexibility of watching shows anywhere, there's a surprising number of programs where death and grief take center stage. From the comfort of your bed, living room, or even outdoors, these shoes can offer unexpected solace and support during the difficult grief journey. 

Witnessing characters grapple with similar circumstances can validate your feelings. By relating to their experiences, you may feel less alone and discover healthy coping mechanisms for your loss. Here are some contemporary shows that delve into the grieving process:

1. From Scratch (2022)

If you like romance stories, From Scratch narrates the story of an American artist and a Sicilian chef who meet while she's studying abroad in Florence. Based on Tembi Locke's best-selling memoir, From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home, this show delves into a life-changing journey of true love and the profound grief of loss.

2. After Life (2019-2022)

A dark comedy-drama, After Life follows the life of a newspaper and television journalist whose world crumbles after losing his wife to breast cancer. The series explores the many faces of the grieving process in a realistic, endearing, and darkly humourous way.

3. Dead To Me (2019-2022)

Netflix's dramedy Dead To Me tackles the unique grieving process of mourning someone with a complicated relationship. Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini take viewers on a fast-paced emotional journey through the lives of two strangers who bond at a grief support group. The series explores grief as a complex and confusing state that leads to deep intimacy, self-discovery, and even manipulation.

4. Sorry For Your Loss (2018-2019)

The plot of Sorry For Your Loss explores how a young widow, Leigh Shaw, is forced to reevaluate her life and relationships after her husband's sudden death and grapples with mourning. The series offers an intimate, almost documentary-like portrayal of navigating bereavement while life seems to carry on around you. 

Through carefully woven flashbacks, the audience can witness the vibrant life lost and the depth of the character's loss. As the show streams on Facebook Watch, it genuinely becomes a support group for viewers to share their mourning stories.

5. WandaVision (2021)

Marvel's WandaVision features Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, a superhero grappling with grief after losing her love. Using fantastical elements, she creates an alternate reality to mask the pain, blurring the lines between coping and escapism. The series places grief at the core of Wanda's complex transformation into a villain character. 

6. This Is Us (2016-2022)

This Is Us delicately explores how the grieving process affects a whole family. With a grounded storyline that reflects real-life experiences, the series portrays grief as an ongoing war and an unavoidable part of life. It allows each character to grieve in their own way and celebrate their loved one's life through shared stories and memories. By highlighting the little things missed most, the series offers viewers a sense of validation and companionship on their grief journeys.

7. A Million Little Things (2018-)

The drama series follows a group of friends whose lives change drastically after the sudden death of one of their own in the first episode. In the aftermath of this tragedy, the show explores their emotional journey through the grieving process, highlighting the importance of communication and the strength of their friendship.

8. Pivoting (2022)

This comedy centers on three childhood friends who deal with the death of the fourth member of their group. Facing the reality of life and death, they turn grief into a chance to reevaluate life. Determined to live life to the fullest, the three make impulsive decisions, embarking on new paths—from becoming a better mom for their children to quitting their jobs.

9. Life & Beth (2022)

Life & Beth is a dramedy that explores Beth's journey of self-discovery after a loss. The series delves into her unresolved issues with a deceased loved one and past childhood experiences that continue to impact her present. As Beth navigates her grief, she reevaluates her life, acknowledges her parents' flaws, and reconnects with old friends.

10. Shrinking (2023)

Shrinking follows the journey of Jimmy Laird, a therapist navigating the loss of his wife. The show explores the raw and multifaceted emotions that accompany bereavement. From the depths of anger and despair to the glimmers of hope and healing, Shrinking normalizes the complex emotional terrain of grief, reminding viewers that their own experiences, however turbulent, are valid and shared by others. The show also examines various coping mechanisms that may inspire viewers to seek out their own sources of support, reminding them that even in the darkest moments, the path to acceptance and growth remains possible.

11. Fleabag (2016)

Fleabag is a darkly comedic series that follows an unnamed young woman navigating life in London. Reeling from the recent death of her best friend, she frequently breaks the fourth wall to share candid asides and observations with the audience.

The show is a character study that explores themes of grief, trauma, female sexuality, and the human condition. The protagonist's brash exterior and self-destructive tendencies mask deep wells of pain and loneliness that slowly unfurl over the course of the series.

12. The Good Place

This comedy series offers an insightful and uplifting perspective on grief that can provide perspective and wisdom to those coping with loss. The show explores profound questions about the afterlife, morality, and the human condition. By witnessing the characters struggle to navigate grief and find meaning in the face of loss, we are reminded of the inherent value of human connection and the enduring impact that our relationships can have, even after death. 

The show’s message of striving for personal growth and embracing life's complexities serves as a reminder that grief, though painful, can ultimately catalyze profound self-discovery and appreciation for the present moment. With its blend of humor, philosophy, and emotional resonance, "The Good Place" offers a thought-provoking and heartwarming exploration of grief that can provide comfort, perspective, and inspiration to those on their own healing journey.

Finding Comfort After Losing Family members and friends

Navigating grief is a personal journey. While watching television shows about grief can be helpful, there are also other creative and meaningful ways to keep your loved one's memory close. 

Cremation Jewelry: A Unique Way to Honor A Person's Life

Cremation jewelry enhances a personal approach to honoring a loved one. These memorial diamonds turn a small portion of your loved one's ashes into a beautiful, lasting memory, such as a ring, necklace, bracelet, or other wearable tribute. Wearing these pieces next to your heart makes you feel incredibly close to them during essential milestones and everyday achievements. 

Unlike a traditional memorial service at a funeral home, cremation jewelry faces death positively and provides a tangible way to keep your son, husband, or sister with you. These eternal diamonds embody the idea and concept of everlasting love. Through a unique creation process, each custom-made diamond becomes a personalized tribute, keeping your loved one close and creating a lasting connection.