In the three-month period after the death of a spouse , widowers and widowers are more likely to manifest risk factors related to cardiovascular disease and death, as suggested by a study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology , showing higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines ( immune markers indicating inflammation in the bloodstream) and decreased heart rate variability (HRV).
Wanda’s story in the Disney + Wandavision series ( Scarlet Witch and Vision ) is traumatic, painful, and tragic. The first few episodes show Wanda and Vision (played by Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany respectively) as a happily married couple living like in an old sitcom from the 1950s, then 1960s, then 1970s. Westview seems like the haven for that pain.
Westview and your distorted reality
When a person who has lost his partner or spouse, the most common is that he is living in an ‘altered reality’. The people we love, especially our partners and / or spouses, give our world meaning . They connect us with our reality. They help us to anchor us and are part of our role and identity.
During grief, then, the world can seem like a strange and terrifying place, in which one feels the need to control everything around him, to protect himself. Have a sense of control over everything that is out of control. Sometimes, then, we need to put ourselves in a protective bubble, like an oxygen tank . In Wandavision’s case, it’s Westview.
This happens because, after the death of the loved one, both tangible and intangible losses occur , such as loss of a home, loss of identity, loss of sense of security, loss of companionship, loss of customs and habits, loss of trust , loss of family role, loss of financial security, loss of purpose, loss of trust, loss of intimacy, as well as loss of future hopes and dreams.
In some cases, grief can be complicated or pathological, since they deeply interfere with our abilities to cope with life and adapt to it, as this study suggests. Reasons for this may include the type of repeated losses that Wanda’s character experiences. People who are grieving maladjusted may show ongoing pain, anger, anguish, sadness, bitterness, destructive to themselves or others, or efforts to escape responsibility or others .
Wanda teaches us that we can be powerful and fragile. It takes strength to fight to survive the deep pain of grief . For this reason, as already happens in the movie Pleasantville (1998), if we have a special power, that power may also be oriented to flee from reality in a much more tangible way . In this case, taking refuge in an arcadian past where everything seemed simpler. Where, in addition, the canned laughter that accompanied the characters in all their situations still existed.
Canned laughs , therefore, are like a happiness spell, as you can see in the following video, which also explains who invented them, as well as other methods to make you laugh more, be happier and, ultimately, be less alone in the universe: