Stage one: denial

You’ve probably heard of the concept of five stages of grief, which was a concept developed by noted psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.

Stage one, of course, is denial. I am still in complete, total, and utter denial about Wednesday’s news and the idea that Guiding Light is no more. 

I found out via an email on my iPhone on Wednesday afternoon as I was waiting to meet my partner for coffee, and I’ve been in shock since. I’ve slept about three hours since I first heard the news.

My mind has been racing: What does this mean for other shows?  Could the show survive on a new network – or in a new format? What will happen to all of the  people who work there? guidinglight2008logo

I took a quick trip out of town yesterday. I figured I’d get away from it all, at least for a day. But everywhere I went, the news followed. Every time I saw a USAToday news box, Kim Zimmer’s face peered out from it.

I went into the bank, and whatever cable news service was playing on the flat-screens were talking about it. I tuned into the local radio station, and even they were talking about Guiding Light! So much for avoidance and denial. 

This is enormous news. Several writers (including David Hinckley and the always-eloquent Sara Bibel) have posted wonderful essays about this news, but I am still processing it, so I’ve been quiet up to this point.

I have a lot to say, and a lot to share, over the next few days. Stay tuned.

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2 thoughts on “Stage one: denial

  1. My sincerest sympathies. You know, even acknowledging that you are in denial that — underneath that — you have a clear perception of the situation, and that you’re on the road to a healthy coping response.

    Two parts of my brain (I am a Gemini) are at war over this decision. The rational part of my mind has often crunched the numbers, has looked at the general tenor of critical and fan response, and I see the cancellation as the logical outcome of many years of prior events. I further add that I see little role for blaming corporate malfeasance or creative bungling because, honestly, I think a demographic transition brought us here — will bring ALL of us US daytime soap fans to this point. Also, the same “rationalizer” says “how lovely that GL has the opportunity to go out on a high note!”. The fact that the show has been doing many things right lately is a beautiful thing. It means the memories of the finale need not be about squandered opportunity, but about a life well lived.

    But there is also the other part of me — emotional, non-rational and (I hope) usually empathic. That part of me aches for all of you who loved GL. When I think of the role of soap in my life, it has been shows that live on and on. They moved with me through my life, from place to place, with different social partners. When everything around me kept changing, my soap was always there. Even now, my soap uniquely helps me get an extra sense of home. It is more than a habit…it is intricately woven into the tapestry of my life.

    I cannot imagine how it will be to lose that, though I know that soon enough, I too will. From that understanding, I wish I could put my arm around your shoulder and buy you a drink, to maybe let you know that your pain is understood and shared.

    Anger is next, Patrick. But we’re all here to “listen”!

  2. Patrick, like yourself I’m still very much in shock about my dear old friend Guiding Light’s cancellation. I have watched this show my entire life, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t watch GL. It is a part of me. I know many think of me as silly when I say GL and its many characters past and present are part of my family, but I sincerly feel that way. I know that I will be there till the end, cheering on my old friend, and cherishing all the wonderful memories it has given me.

    I want to thank you Patrick for you wonderful blog these past couple months, its been a pure pleasure to read. I hope you can check out my last months of my column ” Looking into the Light” at soaptown usa.com. Maybe we can help each other cope with the loss of a huge part of our lives.

    I

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