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 (Bold Type Books/Hachette 2020). He is also the managing editor of Catapult magazine, and a contributing writer at Condé Nast Traveler. Previously, he was the founding editor of BuzzFeed Philippines. He is a MacDowell Fellow and has written for Vogue, Self, Out, and BuzzFeed News, among others. He is a graduate of Vassar College and lives in Brooklyn. You can find more of his work on mattortile.com and on Twitter @ortile.
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