Imagine a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, and within two weeks, they were gone. This is what actress, mother, and now film producer Alysia Reiner experienced. Her father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer and within days passed away.
Like many, Alysia had to quickly deal with the process of grieving-but didn't know how. As Alysia states, " Death is still such a taboo subject in our country." To counteract our usual inability to accept grief, Alysia channeled her own mourning through film. She created the film Speed Grieving as a way for people to accept and process their own grief.
I had the pleasure to attend Cancer Support Community's (CSC) Red Ball last Friday evening at Crimson Nightclub, where the film was publicly launched. The mission of CSC, as Director of Communications Regan Hiatt explain to me, is to combat the emotional side to cancer. CSC provides the highest quality emotional and social support via an array of programs for cancer patients and their families.
CSC's President and CEO Kim Thiboldeaux spoke to the crowd, where she reiterated this idea: "Cancer Support Community is here to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. We cannot just treat the tumor, we need to treat the patient."
For Speed Grieving's launch, we saw a trailer to the film and heard from Alysia herself. The Red Ball also included hors d'oeurves, cocktails, raffles, and dancing--a beautiful irony to the night's foundation on loss.
I had the opportunity to talk to Alysia, curious as to what prompted her to create this film. "It was from a dream, actually," she told me; "I didn't know how to grieve myself, and then one day I woke up with this idea. I use film to tell stories, and believed I could use Speed Grieving to help others, including myself, be able to feel whatever grief brings up."
The rest of the night included wonderful drinks and conversations with other CSC members and supporters. The Red Ball theme included an actual red backdrop; Crimson was dimly lit in the color red, and most attendees were either dressed in red or black. We also enjoyed delicious drinks in yes--red, ball shaped glasses.
You can purchase your own copy of Speed Grieving here. Please note that 100% of the proceeds will go to Cancer Support Community! You can also contact the Speed Grieving team and the Cancer Support Community for more information and inquires.