Allow us to state the obvious: Grief freakin' stinks.
No one prepares you for the way it sneaks up on you, crashing down like a tidal wave. One minute, you're simply minding your own business and then the next, you're suddenly drowning, calling out for a rescue squad.
But perhaps, there's a more uplifting way of looking at it. Perhaps, grief itself is the life raft keeping us afloat as we find ways to honor our person. That's the outlook Andrew Garfield has learned to embrace following the death of his mom Lynn.
"I love talking about her, by the way, so if I cry, it's only a beautiful thing," he shared on the Nov. 22 episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "This is all the unexpressed love, the grief that will remain with us until we pass because we never get enough time with each other, no matter if someone lives until 60, 15, or 99. So I hope this grief stays with me because it's all the unexpressed love that I didn't get to tell her. And I told her every day. We all told her every day she was the best of us."
In late 2019, Lynn passed following a years-long battle with pancreatic cancer. Shortly after, Andrew started production on the Lin-Manuel Miranda-directed Tick, Tick…Boom!—based on the life of playwright Jonathan Larson, who died hours before his show Rent made its off-Broadway debut. He was just 35.
"He was taken far too soon," the actor said. "And this film...it's to do with that ticking clock that we all have. That we all know somewhere deep down that life is sacred, life is short and we better just be here as much as possible with each other, holding on to each other."
Today, he grasps on to his grief as a reminder his mom is always here, as a reminder his job is to uphold her legacy.
"I got to sing Jonathan Larson's unfinished song while simultaneously singing for my mother and her unfinished song," he told host Stephen Colbert while holding back tears. "I'm indebted to John and I'm indebted to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I'm indebted to everyone who has brought me to this place so that I can honor the most beautiful person that I have ever experienced in my life through my art and use it as a way to heal, use it as a way to sew up the wounds. Cause that's what we do, right? That's what we do."