I had the honor of watching the film Return to Zero. And on Saturday, May 17, the film will premiere on Lifetime at 8 pm PST for all of you to see.
This film is based on the true story of writer and director Sean Hanish and his wife Kiley’s loss of their son. It’s about stillbirth. It’s about death. It’s about being broken.
But that’s not what the movie IS. Return to Zero beautifully tells the story of marriage and relationships. It shows the complexity of how men and women deal with life. It’s funny, hopeful, inspiring.
I had the honor of meeting Paul Adelstein and Minnie Driver at the premiere of the film. They were so warm, embracing those of us who had lost baby. This film means something to them. And those of us who have had a baby die, we mean something to them. Minnie plays the mother who gives birth to her stillborn son, and Paul the father. Through this film, they are giving a voice to those of us who have lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy.
When I saw the film, it was emotional, and I cried big, sloppy tears. But the one thing that I couldn’t stop thinking about was that this film validated me. It validated my loss. Finally everyone can peek into my world–the world of a mother who is continually grieving the death of her baby.
When my son Joseph died nine years ago, we chose not to let anyone see him. We had a small, private burial service. I wanted to protect our family and friends from the horrific grief I was feeling. But in doing so, I also didn’t give them the opportunity to really see my reality. This film will give family and friends of those of us who have had a baby die a raw look into our emotions, thoughts, and, well, our life.
But this film isn’t just for those of us who have had a baby die. It’s for anyone who has experienced loss, grief, or death in their life. It’s a beautiful story. It’s a beautiful film.
I’m forever grateful to Sean and Kiley Hanish for sharing their son Norbert with us. This film is going to change things. Just watch and see.
Kristyn von Rotz, Cofounder, OC Walk to Remember
Mom to Joseph Thomas von Rotz 7-8-2004