What is Collateral Beauty?


I watched this movie about a father who lost his daughter due to an illness. Even though I was not a fan on the movie, one line was stuck in my head. “Just be sure to notice the collateral beauty.” What does that even mean? How could you find beauty in a child’s death?

This was the answer that I got….collateral beauty is the light within the dark. The pain of a child’s death is so dark and deep that it prohibits the parents ability to see anything positive. However, when you force yourself to see positives, a new kind of beauty appears as light.

Love is so powerful that it continues even after death. The impact of the trauma can bring us closer to life if we allow it to. Furthermore, when someone uses their experience to help others, the person that is no longer with us, continues to touch lives.

What I can compare this to, is the loss of my aunt. She was the life of the party, my righthand man, and a person that I admired. When she got sick, I couldn’t understand why. She was too young to die. The pain hurt so bad. However, her death has changed my life. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed” was no longer a stupid cliche to me, it was a reality. I started going out, I was okay with ending my relationship of five years, I became more confident in who I am, and I took a big risk when I left my job for an unexpected opportunity. Even though Claire was not physical with me, she was still impacting my life.

I also was a member of the American Cancer Society. I raised money within my personal network and sold items at Relay for Life to donate to cancer research. I never got to see exactly who benefited from that money, but I know someone out there will. Whether it is in the hospital or the research labs.

If I could have it anyway, I would have my aunt here with me. I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t suck. But the reality is, no matter what I do, how much I pray, or cry, she is no longer her physically. But I carry her with me everyday and because of this, she still effects my life and many others.

So when you are at the lowest point in your life, remember that there is a small light in the dark. There will be collateral beauty, but it is up to you if you want to see it.

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