“Slowly Loosing Grip On Reality” – Tjames

The Oscar buzz surrounding Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” the new Batman saga, is not just a marketing ploy, says Professor of Psychology Amy Hollingsworth…



Nor is it simply the yearnings of a celebrity-obsessed culture, as critics have suggested, driving the interest in seeing Heath Ledger’s last completed film role before he tragically died of an accidental prescription drug overdose in January.

Instead Hollingsworth sees the anticipation of Ledger’s final performance as evidence of something more: a growing interest in “last things,” a way to make sense of loss by looking to the final things said or done by a person who has passed away.

“How ironically fitting,” a film professor told ABC News, “that Heath Ledger’s given a great performance and he died. Nobody is going to think twice about seeing it.”


The reason people won’t “think twice,” says Hollingsworth, is because there is comfort to be found in last things. A college professor with a master’s degree in psychology, Hollingsworth spent more than a year listening to the stories of those who had lost loved ones and found that healing gifts are often hidden behind the last things a person says or does.

She chronicles her findings in Gifts of Passage: What the Dying Tell Us with the Gifts They Leave Behind, a book filled with moving stories from the lives of both celebrities and ordinary people that illustrate the uncommon comfort reserved for us in last things.

Via Thinking Screens