When the WandaVision TV series first came out, I stayed awake until 3 a.m. excited for the new episodes to drop.
The first two episodes were hilarious, but as the show progressed it got harder to watch.
WandaVision takes place within the Marvel comic book universe. The show follows a powerful witch named Wanda who’s married to her android husband Vision. They build a home together, have twins and go through the challenges of marriage.
The twist of the show is that Vision is alive despite being killed in a previous Marvel movie, Infinity War.
Both Wanda and the viewers are left questioning how he’s alive in the show and who resurrected him.
The situation puzzles Wanda throughout the series. She chooses to ignore it so she can live happily with Vision.
At first, I was confused why Wanda wasn’t putting in more effort to find out the truth.
I asked myself “How could you love a man who may not even be real?”
As the story developed and their relationship flourished, it was clear as to why Wanda was ignoring the truth.
When I was 14, I lost my then 21-year-old sister.
She would always baby me but I looked up to her. She had a strong sense of self and had big dreams.
Her death was sudden which made it harder for me to comprehend.
But when she did die, I did my best to recover as quickly as possible.
I did what I thought you’re supposed to after a loss. I went to counselling, went back to school and kept busy.
I plowed through the five stages of grief and tried to move past the hurt.
I thought the quicker I experienced all the emotions, the sooner I’d recover.
For a while, I had convinced myself I was doing well. I went out with my friends, got better grades and put effort into everything I did.
Looking back, I realize I wasn’t coping well with my sister’s death.
Instead, I did what Wanda was doing and lived my life as if my sister were still alive.
I would have conversations with her while walking to school and imagine her shopping with me.
My favourite thing to imagine is her laughing at my jokes. She was the witty one in the relationship so it wasn’t easy to make her laugh.
It started out as an innocent act of talking to myself in my head but it evolved into something more serious.
I would buy her favourite food, thinking she would eat it or go out of my way to visit her old job, thinking she would be there.
Eventually, I ran out of money and found myself hoarding stuff I had no use for. I ran late to meetups or missed appointments due to making stops at places she used to visit.
I just wanted to experience the small things we would have together if she were still there.
Wanda believes Vision is there while cooking dinner or preparing the baby room. I would imagine my sister by my side in the same way.
Accepting the loss
As years passed, it became more difficult to imagine my sister by my side. Her face was blurring in my memories.
Forgetting her voice was the most terrifying part. I didn’t have anything to remember it by.
I was losing my mind trying to keep up with this illusion I had created.
Wanda goes through something similar. By the end of the series, she can’t keep up with the false narrative of Vision being alive.
She knows he’s dead, but doesn’t want to accept it.
It’s revealed that Wanda unknowingly created a fake version of Vision and her children through the power of her grief.
She eventually decides to let go of them so she can move on and is left to face their death alone.
This was especially hard to watch since acceptance is the most challenging stage of grief.
I had to stop living my life as if my sister were still alive. I had to accept that if I wanted to live in the present, I’d have to step away from the past.
Growing from the pain
For many years, I thought my grief was weighing me down and something I needed to ignore.
WandaVision taught me that grief isn’t necessarily sadness but a representation of love.
The show beautifully conveys how shielding yourself from the inevitable truth of loss won’t bring the person back.
Rather, you can learn to love them even if they are not there with you.
My experience with loss taught me that you can’t wait for the day where you won’t feel the pain anymore. That day will never come.
Instead, you have to learn to live with the pain.
I’m now 22, which makes me older than my older sister. Although I wish this wasn’t the case, I’ll always be her baby sister. I’ll always want to be her when I grow up.
If you or someone you know is experiencing grief, use these resources to seek help:
Wellness Together Canada:
Bereavement Ontario Network: