Loss And Grief – A Door For Two Brothers
 
 
As our favourite show’s finale Swan Song and the emotions it conjured up in me still rage through my system, occasionally like a thunderstorm, then again like a breeze that’s a tad too harsh, a short time into the summer hiatus I can’t stop thinking about it.

So, I’m going to snuggle into that couch of mine and take the Winchesters with me, as they are in such need for comfort as many of us are… trying to give their horrific situation some sense and meaning.

Again, Dean has lost his brother and Sam had to go. Experiencing the death of a loved one is fairly common on planet Supernatural. And we could assume they must be well enough acquainted with it to cope with the phenomenon easily.
And that assumption would be wrong.

The experience of loss is never the same. Neither for Sam nor Dean nor any of us. The intensity of grief is never the same, but varies according to our state of mind and the events responsible for our loss. It’s not only the kind of pain that settles into your mind - it also claims your body. This endangers the healing process right at the beginning, and perhaps at this moment healing, indeed, it not possible, yet.

Eventually, every one needs to suffer through that period alone, meaning within their own skin and soul, but with support from friends, family, close ones, of course. Provided we are willing to let someone in.

At the end of Swan Song, Dean went to look for Lisa, because he promised Sam to do so. But, having dinner together, he was not really there. We can assume that Dean told Lisa what happened, but - as we know him - he will also protect her from the most dreadful aspects of the truth. The Dean we saw in that last scene was alone, lonely, devastated and coping with his loss in the harmful way he has begun in previous seasons: drinking too much.

‘Every fibre he’s got wants to die’ - but he can’t do so, because of that promise he gave his dying brother. In a way, though, he might feel he was dying, too.

He just lost his brother.

We remember those distressing scenes in All Hell Breaks Loose, how broken Dean was, how attached to Sam’s body, incapable of burying him, of letting him go.

Sam and Dean Winchester have been essential to each other from the moment Dean carried his baby brother out of that burning house in Lawrence. They have kept up and sustained each other’s identities. ‘Watching out for you…it’s kinda my job, you know. But more than that: it’s kinda who I am.’

Dean built his identity around protecting Sam. Losing him does not only mean losing his brother whom he loves more than he probably would ever able to fathom, but also a huge part of his own being. He might not know at all who he is anymore.

That’s one of the perks and curses of the relationship of siblings - they share a unique bond. Not only genetically. Their history is connected from birth. In fact more so with the Winchesters, as their bond has been forced into even stronger dimensions by the death of their mother which forced their father to get on the road, eventually, and devote his life to being a hunter - so, as everything else in their lives was unstable (new motels, new schools, new peers, no real home except those four wheels of the Impala) they had to grow more intimate to each other to find stability and comfort. Carving their initials into the car was just a symbolic act to emphasize their closeness.

They shared pretty much everything, confided in each other, shared sorrows and joys. As neither has had long, stable relationships with women (well, Sam being the only one who tried and lost), the connection of these brothers was the longest and most significant in their lives. They might have counted on losing one to some monster or later angel in the course of their dangerous lives (as common sense would dictate), in truth they were not prepared for that day.

Even though the life as a hunter usually does not guarantee old age, I think both, Sam and Dean, at some point expected to spend their days together, one way or another, as their job tied them into being one perfectly functioning team, and after Sam had given up on his dream of a normal life, it became yet more important.

Now, with Sam in the pit, Dean also lost a significant part of his own past, his present and his future. We know Dean by now. Chances are the many moments he reproached his brother during the past years will come up and fill him with countless hours he will spend feeling guilty - for having said what he said, for not being able to find another way to save Sam, for having survived, even.

Apart from being immensely sad he is also angry. And that ‘is an understatement.’ He’s mad at God, wishing to get him next. His early belief that there was no greater power watching over them (as he argued with Sam about in Houses Of The Holy) is confirmed. Although there might be someone watching, eventually, as it must appear to Dean, He doesn’t care. 

I reckon some part of Dean had still hoped that God would come out of the closet to help them after everything they did to save the world and stop the Apocalypse. For a moment he hoped, invain, Castiel might be God. And he got what he wished for. ‘Just more of the same.’ Yes, be careful what you wish for… there’s truth to that. It must feel for Dean like God was spitting in his face, as he all he sees at this point is what he lost - and Sam being in Hell, in a probably worse situation than Dean was. Or, so he imagines.

It might be different for Sam. We don’t know yet who the person standing outside of Lisa’s house is. But whether he is a demon, an angel, a ghost or simply plain human Sam brought back from Hell, let’s assume that he remembers every detail of their lives together.

Sam, in the course of the last season and this one, several times feared to have lost his brother. Not to death, but to mistrust and to anger. ‘…it means, you’re a monster’, ‘I just can’t trust you anymore’ are words that still might ring like a painful bell in his mind – that his deeds were responsible for Dean feeling betrayed by his younger brother has been eating away at Sam’s soul for almost the whole season. And finally, Dean rewarded him with trust, harrowing as the situation was. He still wanted, desperately, to make amends, to set things right and to find redemption by eventually putting the devil back into his cage - the cage he sprung him from.

It was not solely Sam’s doing, of course. Both brothers were responsible for the turn of the events. Dean breaking the first seal, Sam breaking the last one. Alpha and Omega. Yin and Yang. The duality of life - nothing is only good, nothing is only evil. Our definition of it depends on our point of view, deeply subjective.

Even though Sam, being an intelligent man, knew that it was not his fault entirely (if we’re talking ‘fault’ at all), but he felt as if it was. Lucifer getting out, Bobby almost killing himself, but losing the use of his legs, the death of Ellen and Jo, Pamela’s end, all that…. His package of guilt was not really far from Dean’s.

What I said about losing a sibling earlier holds true for Sam, too. He, however, might be coping easier with it, as he was the one leaving. Again.

He was the one who decided to jump into that pit - for the greater good, to save the world and his brother, a bloody heap, leaning to the Impala. He had come to terms with doing this earlier than Dean had. The moment Sam decided to go through with the plan, Dean was still struggling with it.

For Sam it was pretty much clear from the moment the rings as weapons came up. Maybe even prior to that. He needed this so find redemption, to ease that pain inside of him that had been raging there for such a long time.

I think it’s a tad easier for the one doing the leaving. Sam made sure to rest his mind with making Dean promise not to go searching for him or making a deal to bring Sam back. He made sure that Dean would at least try to find peace of mind with Lisa - although he probably knew how insane that thought alone might be. Sam knew his brother. But he needed to give him that chance.

It was a selfish act.

Just as it was a selfish act of Dean to make that deal of his a few years back that brought Sam back from the dead and sealed his fate which eventually brought them one decisive step closer to the apocalypse with a righteous man shedding blood in hell…

Grief, at the very top, is a selfish thing. I’m not saying this to offend any of you who have been or are grieving at this very moment. I’ve been there, too. What I’m saying comes from personal experience and from observation.

We don’t want to be left with that pain of losing a loved one. Leaving is easier, for the most part. Staying behind, bereft of any power to change the situation, is deeply agonizing.

In my case I used to think: they are safe now, no more pain from the sickness that had been torturing them, they are at peace. But that was - at first - only my ratio speaking. My soul, raging with emotion, wanted them back. I could hardly conceive of my life without them. I thought at times I would not survive. So, I would have done anything to change that. And that - as much as I hate to admit it, even to myself - was selfish. In the beginning it was about my pain and my loss. 

It took me a while, after the initial shock and pain subsided a bit to be able to say ‘they are at peace now’ and really mean it, to actually experience relief that they are. It was wonderfully liberating to find out that I could.

Ultimately, it made me stronger, knowing that I was in fact able to survive and to go on. I still am close to people, my second family, as I call them, consisting of friends dear, and I am afraid of losing them, too. But I’ve experienced that loss and grief don’t kill me. I can only hope this will hold true in the future.

In Sam and Dean’s life only Sam has made a similar experience. He has lived without his brother (during Mystery Spot, later after No Rest For The Wicked). He has gone through every excruciating second. He found ways of coping, desastrous as they were - becoming a fearless, cold hunter, joining a demon for revenge, blood and sex. But he survived.

The moment Dean came back, Sam had settled with this new life in a way that would have allowed him to go on a bit further (though I believe he still hoped to die fighting Lilith). So, now, looking on at the scene as Lisa’s house, he might walk away, knowing that his brother is alive and that he is able to survive without his brother.
Dean has no idea, yet, whether he will be able to do that. He is terrified, apart from being torn.

This horrific situation, however, might actually be one of the most important doors for him, a chance to evolve to a stronger, whole human being. A chance for both of them.

Their relationship has been almost symbiotic, in particular so on Dean’s part. Sam had always had a more independent streak, which was enabled by Dean having his back and taking care of him.

We have learned that Dean often took dad’s anger (that was sometimes directed at Sam) when they were younger, forever saving Sam. In all ways possible. Under those circumstances, Sam was able to try out to be something of his own person, running away as a kid and enjoying having a dog (eventually going to Stanford), while Dean took the blame and never told Sammy any of this (remember his astonished face in Dark Side Of The Moon when finding out how much Dean in fact has been protecting this family and Sam in particular?).

Dean, in contrast to Sam, never even thought of leaving and living another life, as he had found his calling early on and never questioned it. ‘It’s kinda who I am.’ His brother’s keeper. This family’s keeper. There have been moments he wanted something else, and his ‘dream’ in What Is And What Never Should Be or his vision of Lisa in Dream A Little Dream Of Me reflect that. But he never actually considered pursuing any of this.

Fighting demons he was able to run into the monster’s mouth, but he didn’t summon up the courage or the decisiveness to take better care of himself. Because then his relationship with Sam would have changed, probably even before Sam left for Stanford, and that was something Dean didn’t want to happen. Ever.

Shakespeare writes in Hamlet: ‘…rather bear those ills we have than fly to other that we know not of…’

Although his life was not at all wine and roses, it was all Dean found to hold true for him. ‘Sam, look, … it’s all I have. Sometimes I feel I’m barely holding it together.’ (Devil’s Trap) He needed his father and Sam more than he knew, and with Dad gone Sam was indeed all he had left, as his life had circled only around this family.

Being apart from Sam, after they had been at odds over the last two seasons repeatedly, must have felt like bricks on his shoulders. He still could not regard him as a person standing on his own feet. It took him a long time and a lot of guts to finally allow Sam to grow up and see him on eye level.

Now, Dean has to learn to live without his brother. To actually grow up in that sense himself.
We don’t know yet, how long it will take till Sam makes himself known or Dean finds out about his return. It might happen in the first episode of Season Six or some episodes later. As Sera Gamble announced that it will be an intimate and personal season, we can expect another dimension of brotherly drama.

This is Dean’s chance to actually find out that he will not die without Sam, that he is a full person even without his brother. To grow more independent. That would lessen his pain eventually, and even when Sam returns to him - in whatever way - their relationship would be a more grown up one. Peers, indeed. Equals.

This would relieve Dean of the inner burden of having to protect his brother at all costs and Sam of feeling guilty of wanting to be his own person. It could provoke even more esteem and love for one another, a deeper, more respectful, adult and evolved bond, without the traps that sometimes come in relationships that are that close. 
 

Comments  

Yvonne
# Yvonne 2010-05-21 01:02
You hit a bit of a nerve in this one. Bad enough that the show gets to me, now you to? This couch isn't as comfortable as I'd thought. (Meant in the best way)

While I'm in agreement that Dean needs to learn how to function without needing to be Winchester glue, not sure if Sam will let him. At least in this circumstance. While Dean was in hell, Sam did learn to cope (unhealthily), but he was still in agony over knowing his brother was in hell. Sam loves and knows Dean, could he really walk away knowing the pain Dean must be in?

Did you mean we can assume that Dean told Lisa everything? As in EVERYTHING? Torn on that. Dean is down, defenses smashed but everything? Lisa knew of Changelings, but is still a civilian. We saw how she reacted to her friend’s concern when she was worried about her daughter. Now this man, who she doesn’t really know that well, but who she probably figured was suicidal last she saw him, shows up at her door and tells her well….the Winchester gospel is true? Accept it or believe ‘dingo ate my baby crazy’? I HOPE it is the former because I like Lisa. I like the idea of Dean finding and keeping Lisa. Really. But I can’t believe she’ll hear the whole truth even as I can’t believe that they’ll last. Slapping a new relationship on Dean’s pain, no matter how lovely the lady, would be as effective as putting a butterfly band aid on a missing limb.

Eek! Just realized how long I’ve been blabbing. So I’ll quit. Lovely article. Well written and thought provoking.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 01:36
Yvonne, dear, thanks! Wow you're fast.
your ideas hold a lot of substance. I'm just going on a hypothesis here - not knowing when Sam will make himself known (as we don't know yet who the person is that came back from hell - even if it is Sam himself, he will be a changed person, as Dean was after coming back from hell. Who knows what ordeal he suffered through even in a short time in Lucifer's prison? - or when the last scene took place. A day after? Or a month after?), during that time Dean will have the chance of - hopefully- learning that he is able to function without his brother. I think it might help him immensely.

And I agree with you - he will probably keep Lisa on a need-to-know-ba sis. Everything would be, of course, too much for any civilian to handle. He will try to protect her in that department. Sorry, if that was confusing.

thank you so much for your elaborate comment. Off to work now for me! Love Jas
Julie
# Julie 2010-05-21 07:20
This is a lovely article Jas and an excellent set up for what I am sure is going to be a very emotional 6th Season.
As you so rightly say grief is selfish. Every one deals with loss in a way personal to themselves , you just get through it the best way you can. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, the famous cliches you tell yourself and others tell you which you cite , `they are not suffering any more` `they are at peace` are true, but that does not prevent the feelings of wanting your loved ones back with every fibre you have , even when you were in fact saying goodbye for as long as we both were . Then there`s the guilt for feeling this as well , it is a confusing state but it also teaches you that everyone has within them a strength they could never have imagined they possess.
I for one am fascinated to see how the writers and cast deal with these emotions and the fall out from that last devastating episode .
Thanks once again Ju
elle2
# elle2 2010-05-21 07:21
Jas,

Beautiful article. I'm getting better able to 'handle' the events of Swan Song (still haven't rewatched 'cause now I'm going through S5 in order but I'll be there before too long).

This is another chapter in the brothers' lives for Dean may finally get the answer to his hypothesis in Swap Meat. At the end when Sam said the kid's life 'sucked ass' Dean suggested that perhaps they didn't know what they were missing. Perhaps Dean will get a chance to see. I do not believe he has any tools to cope with that 'apple pie life' and thus he will find it very difficult.

I believe it is Sam, fully human, standing on that street watching Dean and that he, Sam, is trying to decide whether to let Dean go (as Dean did Sam back at the Stamford days) or to let him know he's alive and well. It's a painful decision either way.

I love Castiel's remark to Dean in the Impala, you wanted freedom not paradise...more of the same, you got your wish, Dean. Free will means that you choose your course and yes, it means you live with the consequences.

Just as Crowley stated back in Two Minutes to Midnight, it's all in how you phrase it. Dean didn't say he wanted freedom and life ever after with Sam, alive and well. Dean wanted freedom, he got it.

As for whether the boys are separated until a few eps into the season, I'm betting on a passage of time, based on Chuck's remark that Dean would not see Bobby for a long time. I'm betting ep one brings up to a point in time in the future (whether months or longer) and that the boys are reunited in ep 1 and a whole new journey begins.

Leaving is selfish and I understand the thought process. Dean pushed (harshly) everyone away from him in Point of No Return to protect himself, not to protect them; it gave him a defense to ignore his sorrow at his intended action: anger.

Sam got his redemption, in essence he did let Lucifer out but will all good intentions, simply without all the facts. Who would have thought killing Lilith was a bad thing (as Dean said in --- Fallen Idols I think? I don't know, I'm watching that one tonight, I know better.

Sam got his chance at an apple pie life, he got his redemption...I wonder where he goes in Season 6...

Sooooonnnnnnn
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 08:06
Julie and Elle2, ladies, your comments are so heartfelt, thank you!

Julie, I knew you would understand what I meant to say, as I know who difficult it was for you going through grief and the fire it burned you with. I guess it's pretty much an universal emotion at that point, and I think it's deeply encouraging to have experienced that we are able to survive it. I hope this will hold true should I have to deal with it in the future, again. You never know your luck, eh?

Just as you I am looking forward and dreading the next season, but I am a sucker for emotional stuff, ah well, am I trying to fool anyone, here?, so it's going to be a great story, I'm sure. Let's go on trusting the team, as you seem to be just a loyal a fan as I am.

Elle2, this episode still does a lot to my soul, and I haven't watched it again since writing that open couch article. It have to wait a bit, I think. It conjures up too much pain right now. But that will change, I know.

I also hope that it is human Sam who returned. I am open, though, for other variations of the story, primarily to give Jared some great acting opportunities - on the other hand, as Sam come back from hell, he will have a lot of those to show... it will do a lot to him, and I plan to address it in another article which I'm putting together these days.

I agree with your assessment of Dean#s behaviour - he needed aggression to protect himself. He just was at his wits end and couldn't to it otherwise. I was so sad for him, as this was so against his nature.

The next season will keep us on edge, I'm certain of it.
We'll just have to share the tissues.

Thank you so much. Love Jas
LindaH
# LindaH 2010-05-21 09:07
I think it’s a tad easier for the one doing the leaving. Sam made sure to rest his mind with making Dean promise not to go searching for him or making a deal to bring Sam back. He made sure that Dean would at least try to find peace of mind with Lisa - although he probably knew how insane that thought alone might be. Sam knew his brother. But he needed to give him that chance.

It was a selfish act.

******

This is one statement that I disagree with. Sam knows what is is like to be left behind, knowing your brother is being tortured in Hell. When Dean made his deal, he spent several months in denial and when he started to come to terms with it, the only thing he did for Sam was to teach him the skills to keep on hunting, repairing the Impala, reminding Sam of what John had taught them. He never thought and was probably not capable of thinking to try and find some emotional support for Sam. Sam and Bobby weren't as close as Dean and Bobby. Sam had lost all of his college friends (yes, we now know that at least some of them were demons, but still). Dean never suggested that Sam do anything other than hunt.

Sam was well aware of the emotional toll of having nothing other to do than hunt. He knew what Dean was going to experience and he knew the despair that the guilt and loneliness led to when he was left with no one in the world. Sam had seen Lisa in Dean's dream. Sam knew Dean went to say goodbye to Lisa. Sam was trying to give Dean what Sam didn't have after Dean died, some stable place where he could start to recover. Perhaps you are saying that Sam should not have asked Dean not to commit suicide, but I don't see how wanting someone you love to live is so unforgivably selfish. I don't think telling Dean to follow what Sam had come to realize was DEAN'S dream was selfish. I think it was the most loving thing he could do.

Also, I don't see how this separation is easier on Sam. He is trapped Lucifer and Michael and can only hope that his brother won't do something so stupid that Dean will end up in Hell again. Yes, this was Sam's choice, but to act as if he gets out of this without pain is unfair IMHO.

Other than these points I agree with your essay. I do agree that the boys need to move on from their previously codependent relationship. I hope they develop a healthy relationship at some point.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 09:48
LindaH, this is a major misunderstandin g, I think. At no point did I say that Sam's hope for Dean to live a normal life was 'unforgivably' selfish.

The selfish thing about it (without meaning that being selfish has to be an only 'bad' thing) is that Sam needed the security of knowing that Dean will go on living and not try to do something to get him back, like selling his soul again or finding some other sacrificial way to free Sam.
He wants Dean to live, be happy and healed, desperately. And he wanted to go to hell knowing that his brother would at least try. He wanted this for Dean, but also for himself, to rest in peace, if that was possible at all.

Of course Sam knew, exactly, how it feels to be left behind. And that's why he wanted Dean to give in to trying instead of bargaining Sam back.

We agree that it was the most loving thing to do - but I still believe that Sam also needed to protect himself from the painful knowledge that Dean would end up in hell again for his sake. I simply think he couldn't bear that.

Also, I didn't say that SAm would go to hell without any pain at all. But I do believe he perhaps tried to make it more bearable by knowing that Dean would at least have a shot at a normal life. Sam is suffering like a dog, I'm sure. I couldn't hold it against him if he tried to ease his own pain, too, by trying to make sure that Dean would live.

I'm so sorry if I was too unclear here. Didn't mean to rattle your emotions.

Thank you so much for your detailed comment! Cheers, Jas
Randal
# Randal 2010-05-21 10:16
Personally, I still lay a good chunk of the blame upstairs. Look, if the first seal to start the whole thing is a righteous man shedding blood downstairs, don't you think you should have come up with a better lock system? How about some electro-field like in a Star Trek brig, for starters. Stupid deity.

Grief is certainly a selfish thing. We grieve for ourselves, at what we've lost and how that affects us. We cry more for what we've lost than what the other has, especially if he or she was sick and no longer has to suffer. Doesn't make us vile creatures, simply human. Of course, it's different for everyone, which goes without saying, even though I just did.

Your ending for me spirals off of what Dean said before they went off to fight the good fight, that he "needs to grow up, too." Arguably the hardest thing to do as a human being is deal with loss, and here, where the bond is so strong, it's amplified.

And of course there's the variables of how much time will have passed by the time they meet up again, how much Lisa knows (I can't see them writing her out into recurring characterdom TOO quickly).

Fantastic stuff, Jas.
LindaH
# LindaH 2010-05-21 10:26
I'm sorry if I rattled your emotions as well. For me, I have seen Sam portrayed as selfish starting with season 1. Dean consistently called him that for going to college. From season 3 on Sam has been called arrogant, prideful and has been viewed negatively by a large segment of the fandom (I'm not including you in this, you have been very balanced.). I bothers me that when Sam does his utmost to give Dean some peace, some chance at love, some chance at normal, especially because Dean has been shown to want these things, that it has to be stated that Sam isn't doing this from love, but from selfishness. This really bothers me, because the request involves Sam condemning himself (or so he believes at the time) to an eternity of torment and if Dean fulfills Sam's wishes then Sam's only faint hope of escaping is gone. Again I hate to see Sam's sacrifice demeaned by calling it selfish on his part.

My other problem is not with your essay, but with the fact that the show was determined to NOT show that Sam was destroyed when Dean went to Hell. He was instead portrayed in being interested in power and we were never privy to even the scene at the end where Dean was allowed to show his devastation. The real comparison in this separation is not Sam leaving Dean, it is with when Dean died in season 3. On screen we were never shown the fallout for Sam (except in I Know What You Did, and that was a tribute to how wonderfully trustworthy Ruby was).

I know this is not your fault, but I did have to live with chants of Sam never loved Dean, Sam didn't want Dean back, Sam is evil when he suffered from Dean's death. That is why I am so sensitive to accusations that this is SO MUCH harder on Dean. When Dean came back, much fandom agreed that 40 years in Hell was the worst thing that could have happened to anyone and Sam's suffering was minimal and should be ignored. I wasn't reading this column then, but I do assume you were not part of that chorus. However, to read now, that NO! Sam's going to Hell is NOTHING compared to what Dean suffered brings out my extreme dislike of much of fandom's double standards
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 10:40
Dear LindaH, I hope we can agree that you got me right this time - I know about those voices that went on about Sam being selfish and arrogant and not suffering, etc. but those people were clearly not watching the same show as I was.

I was always on Sam's side, and I understood why he did what he did - his intentions were good and he decided his steps on what he felt was right to do. That is deeply human, too, as we never know what our decisions lead to when we make them. All we have is our assessment of 'is this right? is this wrong?'

I could imagine, that some readers, who belong to 'that chorus' might take that one line about this last thing of Sam being 'a selfish act' out of context without paying attention to what else I said in the article. But let's not care about them.
Thanks for not including me there.

There is no doubt how devastated Sam was when Dean was gone. we've seen that clearly in 'What I did last summer' and the other episodes that gave us small doses of an echo of that time. He never lost that terrible pain completely, and thereby might try to ease it for him when going to hell.

I could imagine being with Lucifer, the very fiend of hell, could multiply in suffering. I only hope Sam will come out of this not as scarred as I fear he will be...

Thank you. I don't see any sense in comparing the brothers' suffering. Each has been and will be through horrible times. Sam might have an advantage here in knowing what it feels like to lose his brother and that he survived it, more or less, and hopefully can cling to that. Dean, however, still has to learn. And survive that pain. It's always terrible the first time. Then again, with personal experience, it doesn't really get better.

Best, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 10:43
Randal, dear, thank you. I think it's pretty hard to describe it in a manner that will reach the hearts of people, and I'm happy that you can confirm what I meant. I don't know how much you have personally experienced in this field, but it's always a deeply human, agonizing process... i wish it could get easier with time... And I think it does...
Hugs, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 16:10
Narcissus and Leslie, you are so kind and thoughtful!

Narcissus, did someone actually say that Dean didn't appreciate that life with LIsa? Dean is shattered of course. You wouldn't expect anyone to get over such a loss in no time, right? Some people I just don't understand.

Leslie, I'm so sorry and deeply moved to hear a glimpse of your personal horror. I can imagine and relate. There are some books or other stuff I still can't deal with, even after years. I know, though, that it gets easier with time. It does. Trust me, if you can. Or, if you can't, I will just believe it in your stead and for you till you will be able to do it yourself.

Unfortunately, it's not September yet :o, but we'll get there - on this site and with a lot of fun while waiting for the hiatus to end!

Love Jas - thank you for your honest comments
Yirabah
# Yirabah 2010-05-21 16:18
Jas as usual I like your way of trying to make us think even more about everything then we already do.

I think Sam wanted to leave. He even asked Dean why he brought him back (in Season 3). That he shouldn't have done it. He was tired of being blamed for the worst things ever (e.g. opening the devils gate, later on for helping Lucifer reach top side). Even so he had the best intentions to keep those things from happening. But the higher powers never gave them the full story - they just used him.

On the other side. Yes Sam already started as a little kid to explore live outside of his family. Having the wish for a white-picket-fe nce-live already when he was little. He tried to get it by going to Stanford. And after his girl-friend did he slowly but surely found out that he never will be able to have that. That destiny (or better angel/demons) had other plans for him and wouldn't alow that.

But he realized when he walked in Dean's dream how much his brother wanted it but would never admit to it. Never talked about it. So when Sam told Dean not to bring him back I think Sam wanted to make a dream come true for Dean. On Dean never would have went for as long as Sam was around.

And Dean yes I think he was still grieving sitting at that table with Lisa and Ben. But once he gets as you put it Jas, over the selfish part of grief, he will realize that that is his life now with those too. A life he has been dreaming about. He might even reach the point where he will thank Sam for taking care of him like that.

I also think that slowly he will open up to Lisa and tell her of some of the things that are out there. He will start to teach Ben some skills but only in a playfull way (e.g. how to fight) but never on a hunt. Dean is giving his whole self to the people he loves. And protecting the one he loves is all he knows so I think that Lisa and Ben will take Sams spot.

And that might be the reason why their relationship will be a little rough at the beginning of Season 6. Dean had to let Sam grow up and make his own decisions - Sam doesn't need Dean to protect him anymore. But Dean has Lisa and Ben to look after now. After all that's all he knows - how to look after someone. That's his life essence. And once he got used to that apple-pie-life he doesn't want to leave it anymore. Just in case something bad should came along to harm Lisa and Ben he has to be there for them.
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-05-21 16:25
(Okay, I’ve written a book here, sorry, but after reading your article Jas, and another article on grief I just came across, I had numerous thoughts about this issue and want to share them with you. So please bear with me.)

Both Sam and Dean have ignored their grief. They didn’t truly deal with it when their father died or when any of their other close friends died. Sam didn’t deal with it when Dean died and I ask, will Dean truly deal with his grief over Sam’s death. Or will he ignore it, bury it down so deep so no one can touch it. Or does a part of Dean still feel deep down that somehow Sam might still be saved? And does he in the deepest part of his heart still hold on to that hope? After all, the angels saved him from the pit, so why not Sam, especially after he saved the world from total destruction.

Yes, Sam’s desire for Dean to search out Lisa may have been selfish, but it was also done because of his love for his brother. When Dean went to hell, Sam was left alone and instead of dealing with his grief, he fueled that grief into anger and revenge. He trusted in someone he should never have trusted, because she offered a sympathetic hand, to help him on his path of revenge. By doing this, Sam never truly dealt with his grief. So, in a lot of ways, Sam along with all the guilt that he feels is still dealing with the grief of losing his brother. So by Sam asking Dean to not seek revenge and to not try to get him out of the pit, he is doing it out of love because he went down that path (and look where it got him) and he doesn’t want Dean to go down the same path he did. Sam knows his brother more than anyone and he knows that Dean will beat himself up, will carry the grief and guilt around like a shield of armor. But by asking him to go find Lisa and try to carry on with an “apple pie life”, he is trying to protect his brother from experiencing any further anguish that the road of anger and revenge will bring, which Sam knows only too well. Sam is trying to give Dean another way of life, a way that he trusts may just help him deal with his grief and help him move on without him. (Sam is putting a lot of trust in Lisa at this point to do the right thing by Dean, so in a way, Sam is not being fair to Lisa by burdening her with this huge responsibility.)

But the big question is, will Dean use this opportunity that Sam asked of him and deal with his grief in the proper way? Dean has always buried his feelings and thus will most likely do the same here. Bury his grief and try to move on. However, that will be a hard task for him because along with his grief, he is also still dealing with everything else that he has lived through these last 2 years. His time in hell, his numerous family issues, the burden he faced of saving the world – he has a lot of emotional issues to sort through and now to put grief on top of that – well, I dare say, Jas he really needs your couch right now to help him through all that. ? Lisa and Ben are going to need to have a lot of patience, love and understanding to help Dean deal with his overwhelming grief, as well as all his other emotional problems.

I just read another article about grief and there were some interesting points made. Many times we tend to bury our feelings (as does Dean) and by ignoring this grief we can get stuck, which if not dealt with can undermine our physical and emotional health. Dean (and all of us as well) need to be willing to feel our real feelings in order to get through the grief. We need to affirm our emotions and not ignore them. We need to choose to do “grief-work tasks” as she calls it, which is the only way to really help us get through the pain. Time does not “heal all wounds”, time does nothing. If the grief is not dealt with properly, the only thing time will give you is more pain and angst. All wounds heal the same way – from the inside out and the best way handle your feelings is to feel them – not handle them. Dean needs to admit his feelings – all of them, his grief, his anger, his mistrust, his want for revenge. Admit it to himself and to others, whomever appropriate, be it Bobby or Lisa, or someone else, anyone else. By doing this, I think is the only way he can truly find the peace that he wants, deserves and that we in the fandom want him to find.

The same goes for Sam. When he comes back he will be dealing with his own personal issues of grief, anger, rage, resentment, etc., and he will need to address them one by one to help him heal.

If both brothers allow themselves to do the “work” required, they will find themselves relieved of the burdens they have felt the last several years, they will feel free and dare I say it, happy. Dean will be able to find his own identity, without Sam or family, and develop a strong sense of self-respect and love for himself as a person and realize that he is indeed a good man, like the rest of us already know. Sam and Dean already have a very strong bond of love and loyalty toward one another, but by doing this work, their bond will grow even deeper, and as you said it Jas, more respectful of each other. I envy the brothers of the love they have for each other. To get to the point in their relationship where they could go, that is if they do the work, is truly one in a lifetime and one to be celebrated. I am looking forward to the possibilities of Season 6 and hope that TPTB do not cheat us out of some of the wonderful emotional scenarios that could play out over the year. It all comes back to the brothers’ bond – please Kripke & Co., give us that.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 16:29
Yirabah, I love your last paragraph - he might really find some peace in taking care of Lisa and Ben for the time being, it might give his life some meaning and ease the emptiness of it.

If he tries to come to terms with Sam being dead and then Sam returns (still curious when that will be the case) it might be hard for him to come to terms, again, with that. AFter living without him - it was hard for Sam, too, I think, when Dean returned, even though he was overwhelmed to have him back. His life did go on, and he suddenly lead two lives: one open to Dean, the other in the dark.

It will not be the same with Dean, of course, but he will have another kind of life for a while. Switching back to the 'old' one, might not be the easiest thing after the torture of grief.

I do hope they will not have to suffer too long. I might keep Kleenex in business, to quote Randal, in an unexpected manner... or expected...

Thank you for this fascinating comment! Take care, Jas
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-05-21 16:35
Being a devoted Samgirl, I do understand and share many of Linda's feelings. Also, I read comments saying that Sam's sacrifice was cheesy. Can you believe it? But I got Jas's point.

However, while many think that Sam's request was hard on Dean, I believe that Sam's intention, besides giving Dean a chance of happiness, was to break the eternal Winchester tradition of self-sacrifice: Mary, John, Dean and now Sam, with disastrous consequences everytime. Painful as it is to Dean to hear it, Sam is right: there's no choice. If Dean makes some kind of deal to get Sam back, who knows how it could end.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 16:38
Evelyn, I am amazed, thank you so much for this thoughtful comment!

I agree with what you said, it's basically an echo of my thoughts exactly. Sometimes, in the beginning of the grieving period, we need to bury our feelings to be able to function and address to the matters at hand (you know, prepare burial, etc) - from personal experience it took me about two weeks to really feel the extent of it all, because there was so much to do. Which was helpful in a way.

I agree wholeheartedly, time will only help with the healing if we don't shut the emotions out that need processing. Dean will hopefully get there for the time being.

Of course, Sam's actions are dominated by love. And fear, and guilt, as it is often the case on planet Winchester. Sometimes I can't believe what these men are going through. I wouldn't be surprised if they lost their sanity at some point. It's just too cruel. Damn you, Kripke... :roll::

WE'll have a lot of drama in the upcoming season, I'm sure, and some fans will bitch about that, too.
Doesn't matter. We know what we love about this show.

Thanks so much, dear. Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 16:41
AndreaW, some people actually said, Sam's sacrifice was cheesy? This devoted SamGirl can't believe it... Are we watching the same show?

Don't worry, AndreaW, I guess fans who voice that never had to face a decision remotely similar to that. Perhaps we should be happy for them, not to have met that kind of tragedy. Our souls might get lighter, then.
;-)

Thank you for this comment! Your devoted 'SamGirl' Jas
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-05-21 17:03
Knowing what we know now, I understand that Sam's lack of connection with other characters - Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Castiel and others, everyone seems to connect with Dean - has to do with his feeling an outsider all his life. Now we know that it suited Lucifer's plans to make him as lonely as possible.

Now that Sam is - hopefully - free of Lucifer's control, I hope that the finds someone to bring him a little hapines. If Dean deserves a chance, so does Sam. Where is Sarah Blake when you need her??
AndreaW
# AndreaW 2010-05-21 17:05
Ops! Sorry for the typing mistakes! I mean "happiness".
Suze
# Suze 2010-05-21 17:35
I know it's weird but the ones who really cut me up here are Ben and Lisa ... They've welcomed a third person into their tiny family and you know, this being SPN universe where everything turns to cobwebs and toadstools in the morning, that they're either going to end up dumped or dead. It's that whole small-boys-in-p eril thing of mine again ( not too fussed about big boys in peril, they can take their lumps, it's the innocent bystanders that are keeping me awake ... )
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 17:35
Sarah has always been my favourite girl on this show.... I doubt, though, that we'll see the guys in a stable relationship. But - that doesn't mean they can't go back to a girl once in a while...
Ah, I'm just going to trust the writers...
Cheers, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 17:37
Suze, I think it is one of the bravest things to do - even when they don't know about the laws of the Supernatural Universe. Let's hope these two will escape the usual fate...
I'm with you on Team Save-the-innocent-bystander!

Love, Jas
Suze
# Suze 2010-05-21 17:42
Good-oh, I'll get some tee-shirts printed ... :lol:
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 18:05
Can I have one???? 8-)
Suze
# Suze 2010-05-21 18:14
Certainly! The laundry marker will probably stretch to two if I spit on the end a bit ... ;-)
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-05-21 18:20
AndreaW you are so right about Sam, didn't think of it that way, but always did feel that Dean had a stronger connection to Bobby, Ellen, Jo, Cas - and as you said, now we understand why. It wasn't because these people cared any less about Sam than Dean, it was because of Sam's isolation of himself (lack of connection) due to his feeling as as outsider, thanks to our friend (NOT) Lucifer. Although the others never really looked at Sam as the "outsider", that was something Sam put all on himself. You really gotta feel for Sam - poor guy. It is so very sad and so very tragic.

Thank you Jas for your kind comments. I truly appreciate them.

Lastly, I am flabbergasted from what you said other people have called the Swan Song as 'cheesy' and a 'chick flick' episode. I honestly cannot believe we watch the same show. In thinking about that this thought occurred to me (let me preface) - I watch my fair share of TV shows. Always have, most likely always will. I am the youngest of 6 in a family of boys who are all very highly opinionated, have a hard time making and keeping friends, single, no family of my own, and have lived alone all my adult life. With this being said, my one constant companion has been TV and the shows that are on it. After having read the comments about the ending of Swan Song, I thought that Supernatural is one of, if not THE MOST HUMAN show I have ever watched. There are any number of good, fun, exciting TV shows out there, but most of them deal with shoot 'em up action, humor, or in the moment drama. While SPN gives us a lot of what other shows do, they also give us greater depth into the main characters, they deal with what it is to be human. Which is why I say this is the 'most human' show out there. Everyone else deals lightly or on the surface of personal moments, not SPN. They get more to the heart and meat of their characters than anything else I've seen. IMHO. So, if there are those that feel that this ending was 'cheesy' then I feel sorry for them in that they don't feel, see or understand the humanity that is this show. And what great lessons we have learned or can learn about ourselves, about life, from watching these two brothers hunt monsters and deal with their own humanness.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-21 18:35
Evelyn, thank you for generously sharing some aspects of your life. And I am moved by what you said. I can imagine what the quality of such a show means to you.

And I agree with what you state acout the humanity of the show. That has always glued me to the show. Though I have a close circle of friends, albeit no family anymore, as all my other loved ones were taken from me, I still find a lot of inspiration within this show.

I think those fans who can't see the beauty of the emotion here, miss an important aspect that could enrich the experience of watching. For me, this episode was nothing but a beautiful, tragic, deep poem. For you, it seems, too.

NOw I'm off to bed, it's way past midnight over here.

Thank you, honoured. Jas
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-05-21 18:52
Wow, Jas, just wow. That was amazing. I have to say that I've been extremely fortunate in my life in that I have not yet had the misfortune of losing someone close to me, knock on wood, so I have yet to go through the grieving process myself. Sometimes I think I may overlook the true impact of these deaths and their consequences for Sam and for Dean because I don't have that experience to draw from.

But you've managed here to express it beautifully, and I think I have a better understanding of what they have and might be going through now. So thank you so much for helping me with that.

Again, amazing insight into the psyches of these characters. Keep up the excellent work, liebes!

Flamey
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-05-21 19:29
Thanks again Jas. I appreciate your kind words. Yes this show has really struck a chord with me and surprisingly means many things to me. Don't get me wrong, I do have a close circle of friends, but they are all married, with families of their own - I have no close single friends. So, while we can share things, the perspective is a little different because of our marital status. And their availability to me is also subject to what needs they need to fulfill with their families, so there goes the rub. So nighty, night. Sweet dreams. Here's hoping Sam is ever present and happy in your dreams.

Also, Ardeospina, just want to tell you that you need not have lost loved ones to experience the grieving process. I also have not lost any loved ones so have not experienced that kind of grief. Yet, I have experienced grief is so many other tragic ways. Loss of a job, loss of childhood innocence, breakup of a relationship, etc. - with any kind of loss we go through a grieving process. So, I dare say you have experienced some kind of loss in your life and have to whatever degree lived through a type of grieving process. And thus in some form or another you do have experience to draw from in regards to Sam and Dean.

The loss of a loved one is definitely unique and tragic, but no more or less important than other type of loss and grief we as humans will experience in our lifetime. As I have had many friends who have lost loved ones, I mourn and empathize with them and only hope that when I do live through that experience I can do it with the grace and honor that I have witnessed from them.
Ardeospina
# Ardeospina 2010-05-21 19:58
Evelyn, very good point you make about grief taking many forms. And certainly I have lost jobs and relationships, but I honestly didn't think of those. Maybe I'm just lucky to have lived a pretty charmed life so far, or at least it feels that way to me.

But as you say, grief and loss do come in many forms and are equally important and equally personal.
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-05-21 20:16
I agree there's often something inherently self-centered about grief, mourning your loss, having to stay in the world without the other... One of the reasons I believed for a moment that Dean might actually throw himself in with Sam. In Dean's case, like Sam before him, he really is grieving for his brother since the poor boy thinks Sam's in Hell... that's just too much, after having been there himself, not sure how you heal when you've got that sort of weight hanging over you all the time.

Sam I think did his best to ensure his brother would survive and maybe even heal, by making him promise to give up hunting (trying to leave the pain, fear, anger, vengeance associated with that life behind) and making him promise to find Lisa & Ben--making sure that he wouldn't be without a family. Having a kid around, especially one who needs you, is pretty life-affirming, and we can be strong for them in ways we could never be for ourselves.

As miserable and painful as grief is, I love how you talked about the possibility of growth through the experience, hope for coming out whole again, and stronger...
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-05-21 20:57
I also thought, ElenaM, while watching Swan Song that Dean was going to jump in with Sam when he went in the pit, but I'm sure his body was too bruised and broken to allow him to make that jump. And poor Dean, along with all the grief and pain he is feeling, he also adds the pain of knowing exactly what Sam will be experiencing while he is in the pit. How much more pain and grief can Dean endure. Man, it just breaks my heart. I hope Lisa is prepared, because by letting Dean in her life, she has opened herself to all kinds of things, of which I am sure she is not prepared for or has any idea. Is it September yet? How will we endure? AARRGGHH!!!!!!
Baroqy also known as B.
# Baroqy also known as B. 2010-05-22 01:57
Jas - great article, as always. And now for a very looongggg post. Excuse the waffling but you keep writing about my favorite topic; the psychological state of my two favorite characters. Heh.

Anyway, I think there is an additional component to their current state. That's the depressing question of whether Sam and Dean are even capable at this stage of their lives of resolving such major issues. There's always hope, but Dean, especially, has had a particularly awful childhood. The show has so far told us that John and Mary Winchester were arguing before the death of Mary - something children pick up on and absorb. Dean was already moving into the role of the 'rescuer' when he tells his mother in Dark Side of the Moon, “It's okay. Dad still loves you. I love you. I'll never leave you.” That's followed by his mother dying by burning alive on a ceiling, and carrying his baby brother outside to safety. Something that would scare the living daylights out of an adult, let alone a four-year-old child. We also learned in S2 (I can't remember the episode title and it may have been in the outtakes), that John Winchester didn't leave Lawrence straight away. He started stocking up on guns and ammo and withdrew from other people before finally abandoning his business and taking the kids on the road. It has to be traumatic for a kid of four (or maybe five) to watch his father becoming a tad unglued from reality.

Dean then proceeds to grow-up in an extremely unstable environment, moving from place to place, and is shouldered with the responsbility of taking care of Sam, learning to hunt and handle weapons, actually hunting and sometimes, taking care of his father.

Current research seems to indicate that a combination of childhood experiences and genetics come into play and brain structure and chemistry is permanently altered in children brought up in stressful environments. Which leads me to say that it's not that I think Dean can't change, I just think that for that particular character it's so ingrained in him as part of his personalty and attributional style that unpicking it is around two year's worth of therapy, a long course of anti-depressant s, and a commitment to AA. And even then it's not going to be entirely successful. Lisa and Ben will help but I don't think it will be much... In fact, I think he's going to find the 'apple pie life' very hard to deal with.

As to Sam... I think that maybe part of Sam's difficulties is an underlying guilt that he's never acknowledged or dealt with. As the younger sibling he can't have been completely oblivious to the fact that Dean is the one taking the brunt of his father's rage, and has the task of taking care of Sam. Or more to the point, Sam has consciously ignored it, but subconsciously it's there, percolating away as guilt and misplaced anger. It's could even be some sort of survivor's guilt: I was allowed to have a (sort of) childhood but my brother was not. I was able to break away, my brother could not. In the complicated world of the subconscious, it forces Sam to push away his father and his brother – simply because it reminds him of his unexpressed guilt and anger. Which explains their relationship over the past two years. Sam wants revenge, he's guilty and he's angry – at something. He's just can't articulate what the heck it is. He thinks it's all about his father and of course, that's only a part of it. Then he thinks it's about the demon blood and it's not that either. He thinks it's about making Dean okay by destroying Lillith. In the end it's about living with a person who's not only literally saved his life several times over – including his life as a baby – and then feeling forever bound by some sort of life debt that Sam would like to be over. Sam wants to be independent, and he's tried, but it comes with the cost of having to cut off all contact with his family because he can't just hang out with Dean. It's the hunting life or nothing in Sam's world because he owes Dean so much. I have no idea how much therapy is involved in that one. Heh, heh.

Now that they're grown men, much of this stuff is bound into their personality and I doubt it's something they can ever work through on their own.

And that's my amateur psychological take on Dean and Sam... ;-)
ElenaM
# ElenaM 2010-05-22 11:37
Evelyn, right, he probably couldn't even get up, poor dude... and he did make a promise. :cry::

B., you have a point--when your primary coping mechanism is "killing stuff", well, that doesn't work so well in the apple pie world. And Sam feeling burdened by a life debt... well, Jas wants him on the couch for extended periods anyway... ;-)
Suze
# Suze 2010-05-22 12:43
Fnaar, fnaar ... Don't we all! ( Sorry, I'll get my coat ... :lol: )
Karen
# Karen 2010-05-23 02:05
Hi Jasminka
Wonderful article.
I really don’t have much more to add then what has already been said in your article and by everyone else here.
I can’t even begin to imagine what I would be like if I had endured the loses that both these characters have gone through. I think my permanent residence would consist of a rubber room.
If anyone deserved unlimited love and understanding and a seat on your couch it’s Sam and Dean.
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-23 16:15
Ardeospina, Evelyn, ElenaM, Baroqy, Karen this is an amazing discussion, ladies!

Flamey, I’m so happy for you that you have been as fortunate as not yet having to bury someone dear or experience any other form of grief, as Evelyn pointed out so astutely. There’s nothing wrong with having a ‘charmed life’, and for me this means hope – that something like that exists.

One day, when you will get to know grief (everyone of us experiences that sooner or later, we can’t hide from it, though I sometimes would do anything to be able to do that or to work some spell to shield others I love and like, e.g. you, my dear, from it) – and I pray it may be in the far, far future – I’m sure your loving nature and optimism will help you go through it and emerge like the proverbial flaming bird from the ashes.

Thank you so much for your ever encouraging and on-spurring words. I will try to keep up the work, it is a passion of mine, writing, but I guess you already noticed that…. Ever yours, Liebes


Evelyn, I can relate to what you’re saying in your comment to mine, too. I’m also unmarried and currently single, and some of my friends are also couples or families, and I can only confirm what you say about them having their lives to take care of, too, finding time to meet is not always easy. But, for instance luckily, one of those families took me in the first day after my mother died and I was too freaked out to stay home alone. We sat there together, kids in bed, for almost the whole night, drinking a lot of whiskey, actually, talking, sometimes I had a crying fit, sometimes we laughed hysterically, it was the perfect thing in that crisis, and my experience was – even though they had a family of their own, when I was at my wits end, they were there.
I trust that your friends would do the same for you.

Maybe I’m lucky, since I do have some very close unmarried friends too, and that makes it easier to get together, like yesterday, having a girls’ night out. I often wonder – since I hope to fall in love again and not facing grief in that department again – how it will work out when I meet someone and how our relationships will progress. I think love and respect is the key.

The same respect goes into your behaviour, I believe, should you be faced with grieving one day – and I hope you will be safe from it for much longer!! You do a lot to honour your lost ones. I do hope I achieved that with dignity and grace when it was my turn, as you say. I’m sure it will just click in for you, don’t worry.

P.S. – I indeed wouldn’t mind Sam on my couch as a permanent resident… ;-)

ElenaM, I’m glad that my thought of being able to grow through the experience of loss moved you to write this comment. Thank you.
I don’t think, feeling the self-centered, sometimes selfish emotions of not being able to bear the loss of someone, is a bad thing at all. It is basically confronting a darker side of our soul, one we don’t really like and hardly ever voice. But – facing this particular notion and coming to terms with it does help in the grieving process.

I agree that having a kid around might help Dean at least a bit. Children reach us on another level, and Ben’s love might soothe his pain – I hope. Probably Dean would have wanted to jump into the pit with Sam or die on the spot there – but, well, he made that promise to his dying brother. He’s too much of an honourable guy to ignore that. But he might have died that very instant. The pain might have been too overpowering.



Baroqy, what a beautiful penname (glad to know what B stands for)…. Thank you for your most elaborate comment! I’m honoured that my writing appeals to you. I can’t help delving into the psyche of the guys…

I agree wholeheartedly that Dean was traumatized early on with what he experienced as a kid, watching his father turn into something else… I think what kept him functioning and saved him from going insane was the job he internalized – becoming his brother’s keeper. Early on, his personality developed according to the circumstances. I wouldn’t go as far to call it a personality disorder (his functioning level is by far too intact for that), but I agree that he will always stick to certain behaviour and perspectives.
I think therapy could help him find different strategies of dealing with problems and loss (come hither, Dean, doc’s in the house – forgive me, couldn’t resist). As long as there are demons out there, he probably won’t be able to settle with an apple pie life. Like with soldiers who have done nothing else in their lives but train for battle – finding peace is hard, you’re right.

With Sam it might well be possible that he felt guilt early on, but I doubt that he pushed it away consciously. As that early an age that you refer to, a child is not able to do that – but the subconscious takes care of it. It starts a process that will push away what’s too terrible to bear. But – hardly anything stays in that compartment, one day it might emerge. Perhaps this was the time it emerged for Sam.

I agree that both guys could well use some therapy (hey, there’s still room on my couch, hehe) but I doubt that they will have some.
If they use the chance this situation will give them well – growing up, finding each other at eye level – they will find another way of coping with it and with each other. I will address their journey within those questions in another article during hellatus – and you might like to digest that one, too.


Karen, you are always so generous with giving your love and I thank you for it for the umpteenth time (and if I should be able in any way to save you from the rubber room, let me know!!) :-)

Thank you all, ladies, for this great opportunity to discuss the matter! Take good care, Jas
Evelyn
# Evelyn 2010-05-23 18:07
I also have enjoyed this look into grief and the discussion that has evolved. I dare say it is something that has touched all of our lives in one way or another. And Jas, from what little I know, and your comments and such I am sure that you faced your grief with dignity and honor. What you say about honoring those that you have lost, is so true. So many times we mourn them, but as we carry on with our lives, do we honor their memory and their lives by our actions? Good time for reflection.

As with Dean as he moves through his grieving process, I think the best way for him to honor Sam would be for him to make the most out of his new life (which is what Sam truly wanted for him), to not continually drown his sorrows in alcohol and self-pity, but to genuinely do his best to move forward and create a life with Lisa. That would be the best way that he could truly honor Sam. And given the character that Dean is, I truly believe (if he were real, of course), is that he would indeed do his best to do just that. I am so excited about the future in S6 and really hope that the writers stay true to Dean's character and pen him likewise.
BagginsDVM
# BagginsDVM 2010-05-23 18:11
Wow. I've been too busy with "real life" stuff the past few days until now to read your essay, Jas, & all the thought-provoki ng comments, but I'm glad I finally got to do so. I continue to be amazed & impressed by what our group here has to say. I had also heard comments in other places about this episode being cheesy & a letdown from the big apocalypse, but for me it was exactly what it should be. I watch this show because of its humanity & relationships. I've grown up watching lots of TV too, & no other show over the years has touched me so deeply to where I can't stop thinking about these fictional characters & what they have endured. I'm preparing to watch the series finale of Lost tonight, & although I've cried over the deaths & losses of characters on that show & many others, none has come close to what I've felt for Sam & Dean & their loved ones.
Dawn
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-24 07:58
Evelyn and Dawn, this discussion we're having on the topic is really fascinating and somewhat sad fun.......

Evelyn, you know, I do hope, too that Dean will find a healthier way to cope that he does at present, and I agree that he would honour Sam's memory best by trying to make the best of this new life. Right now, freshly wounded, he probably is not able to see it, but with time he might....
I fear we won't see that, depending on when Sam will make himself known. It still is an important chance for him, for both.

And - thank you for your kind words, Evelyn.

Dawn, so happy that 'real life' allowed you come back to this site. Believe me, I know how hard both are to combine... I hardly manage and it leaves me with less time all in all. Can't a day have 48 hours?

I agree with all my heart that this show draws us in with its humanity and emotion, and this place is such great site to discuss it - as the folks visiting are nothing but generous, kind, respectful and, also, loving. I hope you'll be able to come back more often,

take care, ladies, Jas
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-24 08:02
Dany, my sweet girl, I do know, and I embrace you will all my heart right now - we'll talk later, I'm sure, at our dear spot. I can imagine how grief, when it comes in battalions, can bang you about until you feel senseless and bereft of all strength, but trust me, dear, dear friend - it is there, at your disposal, whenever you're in need. And for all the other hours, there are dear people who will hug you...

Words seem so empty to me right now, shadows of thoughts and emotions, but you know that my heart goes out to you will all its colours, hoping and praying that you will go through this time with everything necessary.
Lots of love, Jas
Sablegreen
# Sablegreen 2010-05-24 10:46
Jas... Haven't been able to read all the comments, but I don't believe Sam was selfish to make Dean promise to have a normal life. He was honestly thinking he was going to die, and just wanted his brother to be happy. However, it appears he's not dead, and if he doesn’t tell Dean immediately that he’s alive, I will have a problem with that.

Dean has earned the right to spend whatever remains of his life however he chooses, and he should be given all the facts. And as this is a show about BROTHERS hunting, I expect the brothers to be hunting, and Lisa and Ben will not be a large part of season 6.

That said, Kripke& Co. are to write 22 episodes for a Sci-Fi/Fantasy show. That means monsters, urban legends and I guess more demons and angels. As in season one, ‘things that go bump in the night’ are to take precedence. Hopefully the show will go back to giving, as opposed to taking, and maybe some of the departed from last year will been reborn too.

Lets hope for the best!
ARIS
# ARIS 2010-05-31 17:32
I'm still exploring the site, so far I think it's beautiful, but what I like is the impression it gives me, that all the fans in here are bi-bro(=love for both brothers) fans! I hope I haven't gotten a wrong impression about this! I'm so sick and tired of "fans" who hate one of the brothers and it's really beyond logic, how can someone say that they love Supernatural, but they can't stand Sam or Dean...
Just needed to write this and i thought this article was the most suitable! :-)
Jasminka
# Jasminka 2010-05-31 18:04
Thanks, ARIS, I'd say you are right. Even though we have our preferences sometimes, we do love both brothers, as both are such amazing men with souls that move us beyond imagination.
Personally, I am more a SamGirl, but I do love Dean also. Both Winchesters are simply incredible human beings. And you can't take one without the other.

Thank you so much for posting your opinion, dear.
Cheers, Jas
ARIS
# ARIS 2010-06-01 01:16
Hey, Sam is my favourite Winchester too, but man, can you say that you can not possibly adore Dean?????
I'm glad I found you guys, 'cause I've had a really bad "Sam hating" experience recently on another board and it really depressed me!