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Cherry Trees (of Truth)~An Open Letter To Will Smith ~ The Beauty of “Collateral Beauty”

Greetings Will,

I’ve never written to a celebrity before, because I’ve always felt it silly to do so, but as my consciousness expands, so have my views, and I am thankful…

One afternoon while having lunch with my sister/friend, she suggested that we go to see Collateral Beauty. I said, “collateral what?” She said, “Collateral Beauty with Will Smith.” Well, I could not recall hearing anything about a recent movie you were starring in, but that’s okay, because my girl is always ‘on it!’ She catches things that I miss. You see, we’re both movie buffs. We were in Bethesda, Maryland at the time, and figured we would see the movie while there. But oh, no such luck…because not only was it not playing in Bethesda, it wasn’t playing anywhere in Maryland that we could find. So, we called it a Friday the 13th hex! Lol! It was Friday, January 13th!

The next morning, my sister/friend called me at 10:45 a.m. to tell me we were in luck, because Collateral Beauty was playing at a nearby theater. Unfortunately, due to potential icing of roads, we didn’t want to chance getting stranded. So, the next morning after a sleepless night, I woke early, cleaned my house, prepared breakfast, ate, showered and headed out to the movies…solo. I don’t know why I didn’t call my friend. Well, maybe I didn’t want to wake her. Besides, I knew I’d go back with her at some point.

Shortly into the movie, my attention was locked down!! I could feel the expressed portrayal through the character, the raw emotions of a father losing his daughter to death–the betrayal he felt from love and the daunting tricks of time. Soooo masterfully etched out, and embodied through you. Wow, I could see how I silently lived those phases of my life, watching your character on-screen. He lost his daughter, and I lost my husband and others, and in order to deal with the grief, I hid my true self from myself, but just like your character, many years later I reclaimed her. That was a journey walked alone even though I had exceptional people around me whom I loved, and I knew loved me too. My anchors were my minor sons and work. That gave me strength that I didn’t know I had.

There were times when watching the movie, I would laugh out loud, because I remember going to the doggie park too–to be alone, to think and watch the dogs just be. I could never thoroughly explain to anyone what I was actually going through, but I can tell you this….I experienced unexplainable things, and just when I was beginning to feel like myself again, my oldest brother suddenly gets sick and dies. Just like that… No warning: No nothing. We were so devastated!

Ok, enough (background) already! Moving forward with the ‘SOUL’ reason for writing you this letter— It is to tell you how for me, Collateral Beauty is the closest thing that I’ve seen to-date, that has touched me! I’m thinking that it surely may help others understand the enormity of the death of a loved one. How it’s handled may differ from person-to-person. I don’t know how, but it seems our brains adjust to carry our grief, and when we’re READY, a trigger can bring us back… Oftentimes, through becoming aware of mystical things we’ve been taught not to pay attention to, whether internal or external…It’s always there. Beauty is given to us in our everyday lives and although we can’t keep anything that doesn’t belong to us, there are baby steps we can take in reclaiming ourselves through acknowledging everything that’s good, bad and ugly. (That board scene was tough, I thought…)

Through the language of acting, I say BRAVO to you, Will, and ask that you continue to bring us excellent, meaningful and thought-provoking performances. I appreciate YOU! YOU ROCK!


January 19, 2017

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