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Grief to Grace is a transformational film that explores how we can channel our grief in ways that allow us to grow, find meaning & give back. The energy of grief is immense; it has the power to destroy us or be transfomed into something that gives life meaning.
After experiencing years of our own struggles with loss, Chris & I set out on a journey to discover what the heck grief is, how it affects us, what are the ways we can heal it, & what exactly does it mean to be resilient.
To begin with we interviewed individuals who had dealt with extreme loss but were now leading inspiring and fulfilling lives. We were interested in how they recovered and what it was that enabled them to get back on track with life. Secondly we interviewed some of the world’s leading experts on grief & trauma; doctors, psychologists & psychiatrists. We wanted to understand how exactly does grief affect us, why is it so misunderstood and ‘avoided’ by the majority of our culture, & what are the tools to ultimately heal it.
To our surprise the insights we discovered transformed the way we look and relate to our own pain, and ultimately shifted the way we see and relate to death. We want to share with you, the audience, the tools & insights we discovered that empowered us to bring new meaning and purpose to our greatest challenges.
– Sue Wong
Bessel Van Der Kolk MD
Peter Levine Ph.D
Kathy Shear MD
Chris and Joshua were brought together through a series of synchronistic events and set-out on a journey to explore the nature of grief and loss. They wanted to understand how grief had been affecting them and how it affects our society. As the project gained momentum the ultimate irony occurred, both Chris and Josh realized that neither of them had properly processed their past and that it was affecting them deeply. This film shows their journey as they move through their grief to a place of acceptance and understanding.
While Joshua Wenner was building a company and focusing on his career his brother Jeffrey asked to come live with him. Jeffrey was struggling with addiction and needed a place to stay and someone to console him. Joshua said no because he couldn’t imagine fitting his brothers daily needs into his busy lifestyle. 3 days later his brother was dead. This sent shockwaves of guilt and pain through Joshua’s soul. In addition to his brothers death Joshua dealt with the loss of his business, bankruptcy, & the betrayal of a cheating business partner and girlfriend. This lead Joshua on a 10 year journey to heal his grief, guilt, & shame. He took many paths which included working directly with Tony Robbins, Shamans & doing deep forgiveness work. In this film, Joshua interviews 32 people including; family, friends, loss survivors, grief specialists, trauma specialists, doctors, psychotherapists & psychologists to gain more clarity on such a misunderstood yet important subject.
Chris Hillman was a rebellious child who resisted authority which led him down a path of addiction and self sabotage. Many years later, after work in personal development, therapy, rehabilitation centers, & spiritual healing, Chris was able to face his past and reconcile the choices he made. This healing guided Chris onto a path of uncovering life’s uncomfortable subjects through the art of storytelling. He found that through storytelling he could heal himself, while at the same time helping others. His last documentary was focused on observing grief, PTSD & depression in the workers that cleaned up the destruction of 9/11. In this film, Chris explores traditional and non traditional forms of healing such as; anti-depressants, ayahuasca and ayurvedic medicine.