The Body (Buffy Season 5, Episode 16; Feb 27, 2001)

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This was the episode that inspired this blog, and is easily one of the saddest 45 minutes, like, ever. After Wendy’s murder on October 28, 2000, I started to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer religiously. I knew if Wendy were alive she’d still be having weekly Buffy parties at her house and I wanted to participate for her. Fresh from the trauma of her death and knowing that in just a few months I would have to testify at her murderers’ initial hearing, this episode pushed my trauma over the edge.

It’s the one where Buffy finds her mom dead on the couch. So. Fucking. Awful. After I saw it the first time in 2001, I stopped watching the show altogether. It was too close to the grief I was already feeling, and I simply could not watch the group as they dealt with Joyce’s unexpected death. I felt bad about that at the time. Wendy would have wanted me to be stronger, I’m sure. But I also know that she understands I simply couldn’t be. This tragic turn of events in Wendy’s favorite show was so closely linked to what all of us who lost her were feeling, it was almost like Buffy herself responded to our Wendy-bird’s untimely death.

A few nights ago (8 years later), as my hubby and I have been working our way through the 5th season, we reached this episode. I was, once again, beside myself. Once again, I couldn’t watch and I made my poor husband turn off the DVD. We’ve been watching an episode or two pretty much every night since April — but after this episode, we didn’t watch Buffy for 4 whole days. Last night, I made a decision that we had to push through. I had to push through. I knew it would be hard. And it was. And I cried, and cried, and missed Wendy, and Heath, and River, my gramma, Grampa Tony, I missed myself before trauma changed me forever, and thought about how devastated I would be if anything bad ever happened to my mom or husband.

Half a box of tissues later and the 45 minutes were over. I didn’t feel better, I felt horrible. But at the same time, I felt proud that I was able to get through it. Wendy would have wanted me to. It’s a small thing, but I know she’s watching through me. And living through me, through all of us who love her and honour her memory. And I know that she’d totally love this blog. So, even though it’s taking Herculean emotional strength right now just to get these words out, I’ll push through the pain with the awareness that on the other side is healing.

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