I Can’t Defeat My Grief, But I’m Learning to Carry It
In video games, dead parent storylines give a character depth. Their grief becomes a plot point, something to overcome.
This is Grief at a Distance, a column by Matt Ortile examining his grief over his mother’s death in the Philippines during the Covid-19 pandemic.
i who have died am alive Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Breath of the Wild
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
And at times, when the grief waxes, or blocks the path forward, I can choose to rest. As she once advised, I can indulge and play.
Ori and the Blind Forest. (
Matt Ortile is the author of the essay collection The Groom Will Keep His Name and the co-editor of the nonfiction anthology Body Language. He is also the executive editor of Catapult magazine and was previously the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. He has received fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and MacDowell; has taught workshops for Kundiman, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and PEN America; and has written for Esquire, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Out magazine, and BuzzFeed News, among others. He is a graduate of Vassar College, which means he now lives in Brooklyn.
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