Groundhog Day

We watched the movie “Groundhog Day” tonight on this February 2nd, the day celebrated in the United States as Groundhog Day. It’s a very funny and well-acted movie about a man who lives the same day over and over again, trying to figure out how to get out of that one day so he can move on to the future. He wakes up every morning when his alarm goes off at 6 a.m. to the realization that, no matter what he has done in the previous day, nothing has changed and he’s living the same day over again. He’s stuck. As the realization sinks in that he’s stuck living the same day over and over, his emotions and actions run the gamut from disbelief to frustration to doing stupid things to depression to suicide to trying to make himself a better person. After a while, he tries to learn new skills and to become a better version of himself, getting to know and care about the people around him.

Not to put a downer on a funny movie, but I had just a brief thought flash through my head as we were watching it. That’s kind of what it was like after Jason died. When my alarm went off, I woke up every morning from a sound sleep (a deep sleep from taking sleeping pills every night) to the realization that I was stuck in the same nightmare day after day. No matter what I did during the previous day, I woke up to the same nightmare every morning – the nightmare that Jason had died. As I went from that blissful, unaware state of sound sleep to a state of awareness and wakefulness, the horrible realization that our son had died hit me again anew each morning. There was nothing I could do to change the fact that Jason had died and I had to figure out how to make the best out of the day ahead of me without Jason. It took a very long time for me to feel like that nightmarish cycle ended and to see hope and future in a new day. I think there’s still a part of me that wakes to that nightmare every day, stuck in a world without Jason.


© 2017 Rebecca R. Carney

This entry was posted in Bereaved Parent, Death of a child, Grief, Jason David Carney and tagged , , by Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rebecca Carney - One Woman's Perspective

My name is Becky Carney. My husband, Joe, and I have been married for 40 years. We have two living children, Eric (37) and Jenna (32). We lost a baby in utero at 19 weeks in 1987. In 2002, our middle son, Jason (19), and his best friend, Alina (20), were broadsided by a drunk driver who was going at least twice the speed limit. They both died instantly. This blog is written from my perspective as a bereaved parent. I don't claim to know what it's like to walk in anyone else's shoes. Each situation is different; each person is different. Everyone handles grief differently. But if I can create any degree of understanding of what it's like to be a parent who has lost a child, then I have succeeded in my reason for writing this blog.

4 thoughts on “Groundhog Day

    • Hi, Roger. I think we all, those of us who have lost a child, have things like that – things we used to like or love to do that are just too painful any more.

      I used to love to scrapbook photos. After Jason died, whenever I went into a scrapbook store, I felt like I just couldn’t breathe and I had to almost run out of the store. I haven’t scrapbooked ever since.

      Hugs to you, too.


  1. Four and a half years after my son’s death and I still feel this way every day. Some part of me still wants to find a way to change that day so I can finally escape from this endless nightmare. And yet there is no way to undo the past. Learning to live with it is a challenge every day. Thanks for your insightful posts.

  2. I’ve never seen the movie but it was talked about a lot yesterday. As I thought about it, I realized I would most likely never watch it for the reasons you note-I was all too familiar with the sense that I was reliving a single day repeatedly. And there is nothing I can do about it. Now I don’t feel as much like it’s the same day, but I do feel like there’s a kind of force dragging against me every day and making it so much more difficult to do practical, meaningful and forward things. I manage to make small steps but never the giant strides I wish I could make. I suppose that won’t change. ((hugs))

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