Like a Brick in Your Pocket

Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire got the idea for Rabbit Hole after hearing stories about couples who had lost their children. He was the father of a young child himself and he remembered something Marsha Norman suggested when he was studying at Julliard. “She said, if you want to write a good play, write about the thing that frightens you the most.”

In this scene from the movie based on the play, Becca (Nicole Kidman) and her mother Nat (Dianne Wiest) have started packing up toys and clothes that belonged to Becca’s son, Danny, who was killed in a car accident about eight months earlier.

I really like this scene because it explores an insight into grief that applies broadly to a variety of losses that we all eventually face.

BECCA

Mom? Does it go away?

NAT

What.

BECCA

This feeling. Does it ever go away?

NAT

No. I don’t think it does. Not for me it hasn’t. And that’s going on eleven years.

It changes though.

BECCA

How?

NAT

I don’t know. The weight of it, I guess. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under. And carry around—like a brick in your pocket. And you forget it every once in a while, but then you reach in for whatever reason and there it is: “Oh right. That.” Which can be awful . But not all the time. Sometimes it’s kinda . . . Not that you like it exactly, but it’s what you have instead of your son, so you don’t wanna let go of it either. So you carry it around. And it doesn’t go away, which is . . .

BECCA

What.

NAT

Fine . . . actually.