“It’s impossible. Grief is just impossible,” so starts a moving new essay from “Booksmart” and “Lady Bird” star Beanie Feldstein on the unexpected December 2017 death of her big bother, talent manager Jordan Feldstein. Though the actress and her other big brother, filmmaker and fellow actor Jonah Hill, have been understandably tight-lipped about the family tragedy, Feldstein has now taken to print to work through her emotions and potentially ease the pain of others in the same situation.
“About a year ago, Jordan Feldstein passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly. He was a remarkably generous, intelligent, loving person. He was an incredible father, beloved by his boys,” Feldstein continued. “He was a deeply devoted son. He was a brilliant creative mind. And he was my biggest brother. He gave me so many things, including my name.”
The actress continued, “In this past year, I have learned an immeasurable amount about the bandwidth of my own heart. The pain is so unbearable at times, so unremitting. Yet, in addition to the deluge of feelings leaking out of me at all times, I have found the process of grief (because it is and will always be a process, never finished, never concluded) to be just as resonant in my mind as it is in my heart.”
The essay takes its title from a metaphor that Feldstein has tapped into as a way to process her new perspectives: that grief put a pair of “glasses” on her emotions and experiences, one she can never take off.
“These glasses make me see the world differently than I did before,” Feldstein wrote. “The colors bleed together more vividly. But they are somehow more than they ever were before. More visceral. More vibrant. More present. Simultaneously more awe-inspiring and more aching. Sometimes I can push the glasses to the end of my nose so I can peer over them to see the world the way I used to see. But I can only see over or around to my old perspective. I can never see it totally as it was ever again.”
Still, the vibrant young actress has found some solace in others who are going through the same experience. It is “a community of people that have a truly broadened perspective on the human experience,” she wrote. “And if you are also in the club, please know you are not alone, because I am also a begrudging member. And while I wish I could rip my grief glasses off my face and have it all be a dream, I try to recognize what the glasses have given me: that unique blend of humanity that is simultaneously the darkest dark and the brightest bright.”