Though Hallmark is known for its Christmas romantic comedies, a new Hallmark movie explores grief at the holidays. The Gift of Peace stars Nikki DeLoach as Traci, a grieving widow who joins an emotional support group right before Christmas. Brennan Elliott plays the group director, who convinces Traci to stay with the program even though she is reluctant to get involved.
“I think one of the beautiful messages in this movie and what I’ve learned in my own grief is that we are kind of taught in this society that we should be strong enough…to just deal with it and fight through it and everybody grieves you know so we do it alone, in isolation,” DeLoach told TV Insider. “When the truth is the power of being with other people and its capacity to heal you by sharing your story and allowing other people to help carry your grief with you I think is one of the greatest takeaways from this movie.”
Grief at the holidays
A recent survey of 2,000 people showed that 36 percent of the respondents did not want to celebrate the holidays due to feelings of grief or loss.
“The holiday season can be especially challenging if you’re dealing with the death of someone close to you,” wrote Lisa DeSieno, a bereavement services director with the Mayo Clinic. “Whether it was a recent loss or one that occurred some time ago, feelings of grief can be heightened and may seem overwhelming during the holiday season.”
Healing each other
In The Gift of Peace, actor Brennan Elliott plays the leader of the bereavement support group DeLoach’s charter joins. In an interview with TV Insider, Elliott said that, despite being in charge of the group, his character is the most in need of help.
“He feels that in helping others, I don’t have to really deal with my own [grief] and her character…helps guide him,” he said. “So it’s like, even though I’m in a position of trying to support them or give them that support from the leader of the group, they’re actually helping me as well.”
The Gift of Peace will premiere on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries on Saturday, December 10 at 10/9c. The movie will be rebroadcast at different times through the Miracles of Christmas lineup.