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Scattering CJ: the healing power of shared grief

"Scattering CJ" is a deeply moving documentary that explores grief, healing, and the power of human connection in the aftermath of suicide.

Keywords: Documentary, Mental Health, Suicide, Grief, Travel, Human Connection, Andrea Kalin, Scattering CJ, Facebook, Social Media, Family, Global Community, Love, Healing. Three words: Heartbreaking, Inspiring, Unifying


The documentary "Scattering CJ" is a poignant exploration of grief, resilience, and the power of love in the aftermath of suicide. Directed by Andrea Kalin and released in 2019, it tells the story of a grieving mother who turns to social media to honor her son's memory and love of travel in a unique and profound way.


After losing her older son CJ to suicide, Hallie Twomey finds herself battling unbearable grief and guilt. In an attempt to honor CJ's memory and his love for travel, she posts a request on Facebook asking people worldwide to scatter CJ's ashes in beautiful places. The response is overwhelming, and a global community forms around CJ's memory, leading to an extraordinary journey of healing, connection, and love.

More Film Analysis


"Scattering CJ" is a deeply emotional and insightful documentary that explores the themes of grief, healing, and the human connection. It showcases the power of social media in bringing people together, even in times of profound suffering. The film's storytelling is intimate and personal, yet it resonates universally, giving viewers a unique insight into the human capacity for resilience and the healing power of shared grief.

Historical and Factual Context

Suicide is a global issue, with nearly 800,000 people dying by suicide every year, according to the World Health Organization. "Scattering CJ" offers a unique perspective on the aftermath of suicide, focusing not just on the loss but also on the healing process. It highlights the importance of open conversations about mental health and the need for collective support systems.

Key themes in the film

  • The healing power of shared grief
  • The global impact of suicide
  • The journey from loss to healing

Film Comparisons

"Scattering CJ" offers a different perspective on grief and healing similar to the documentary "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father." However, "Scattering CJ" uniquely uses social media as a tool for healing and connection, highlighting the role of technology in modern grieving processes.

Noteworthy Moments

One of the most significant moments in the documentary is when Hallie Twomey receives the first response to her Facebook post. The wave of global support and the formation of a community around CJ's memory is a powerful testament to the unifying power of shared grief.


"Scattering CJ" has received positive reviews for its honest and insightful portrayal of grief and healing. Audiences praised it for its emotional depth and the universal resonance of its themes. IMDB users have rated the film a high score of 7.9/10.


"Scattering CJ" is a moving, insightful, and ultimately uplifting exploration of grief, love, and human connection. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in mental health issues, the healing power of community, or the human capacity for resilience in the face of profound loss.

More film information:


  • IMDB Score: 7.9/10
  • Awards and Festival Summary: 7 wins & 4 nominations



  • Hallie Twomey: A grieving mother who uses social media to honor her deceased son
  • CJ Twomey: The late son of Hallie Twomey, whose love for travel and memory are honored through the scattering of his ashes



  • Various locations worldwide, as CJ's ashes were scattered in many beautiful places by the global community

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • How can social media be used as a tool for healing and connection?
  • How does shared grief contribute to the healing process?
  • What role does open conversation about mental health play in preventing suicide?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, it would be "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion for its honest exploration of grief and mourning.
  2. If this film was a famous song, it would be "Let It Be" by The Beatles for its message of acceptance and healing.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, it would be "The Scream" by Edvard Munch for its expression of intense emotion and despair.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, it would be Keanu Reeves, known for his resilience and strength in the face of personal tragedies.
  5. If this film was a color, it would be blue, symbolizing sadness but also peace and healing.
  6. If this film was a music style, it would be blues for its emotional depth and expression of personal struggles.