Whoosh! Issue 59 - August 2001

By Gail Rodger
Group Therapy Project
Content copyright © 2001 held by author
WHOOSH! edition copyright © 2001 held by Whoosh!
1571 words

Grief (01-03)
What Is Not Real Can Be Real (04-05)
Seeing the Finale A Different Way (06-08)
Rob Tapert and the Cast (09-11)
What Marvels May the Future Hold (12-13)



Renee mourns the loss of her career
Gabrielle mourns the loss of Xena.

[01] How is it that the person who used to laugh and ridicule Xena: Warrior Princess as she surfed through the TV channels 5 years ago, is now the same person who sits unable to stop crying after reading about Xena's demise? You may want to stop here and move on to someone who can put their feelings more succinctly and elegantly than I, but I am compelled to write down my feelings and my thoughts as my mind and my heart battle to accept this news. Maybe it will help me deal with my grief.

[02] Yes, it is grief I feel. I have felt it before at the loss of a pet, friend, or family member. This grief is no different. It is a loss of something that I loved deeply. This strong, beautiful, warrior princess who was such a part of my life and my heart for 5 years is gone. Her humor, her strength, her skill, her intelligence, her compassion, and her courage may not have changed the world, but it changed my life. Now she is gone.

[03] It was sad enough to think of the series ending with the two friends walking off into the sunset, but to think of Gabrielle sailing off without Xena broke my heart. My stomach churns, my limbs grow weak, and I feel that I am about to be sick. I can not look at a picture of Xena without being reduced to sobs. I have this need to talk yet there is no one here who would understand. I can hear my friends say, "get a grip it was just a fantasy, a TV show, look at all the real sorrow in the world". They would tell me that my grief is unreasonable, after all Xena was not real.

What Is Not Real Can Be Real

[04] There in is the rub. Xena is not real. We all know that. What IS real about Xena is how she helped us to deal with our own struggles and with the sorrow that is in the world. Xena's struggle was a universal struggle. Like Xena, we all struggle against the inner darkness that would swallow our souls and the outer darkness that would destroy our minds and bodies. Like Xena, we are tormented internally by past words, actions that we fear will one day confront us, stripping us of our credibility, and alienating us from those we love. Although, like Xena, we are not the same persons that we were when those mistakes were made, we know, in the end, we will be held responsible for their consequences.

[05] Xena taught us about friendship. Real to our lives is the hope of a relationship like Xena had with Gabrielle, regardless of how you view that relationship. The need is real for someone to accept us and love us as we are, someone who believes in us and encourages us, and truly knows us, someone who will be there for us when past sins threat to undo us, someone who will love us unconditionally. Is that not what we saw in Xena and Gabrielle's relationship? Who does not want that kind of love in their life? This is the kind of love that propels us to go through fire, to go on impossible journeys, to forgive what would seem unforgivable to others, to be so mated to a soul, that we hardly know where one soul ends and the other begins, to love so much that we are willing to give up our own life for the greater good and even, with great grief, to allow the other half of our soul what she needs to be whole.

Seeing the Finale A Different Way

[06] I draw comfort from the thought that thousands of fans understand my grief, as I know they mourn with me. I do not believe there is a fan alive that is happy with the death of Xena. I know that I am not. Yet, consider the statements that were made in the series finale. If we just stop and think about what the show was teaching us along the way, how powerful the finale was!

[07] Xena was finally able to find peace in the sacrifice of her life. She found the atonement she wanted for her past deeds but it cost her the physical presence of the person she loved most. She never would have been able to make such a move without knowing Gabrielle. Gabrielle saw Xena as she could be, not as she was. That child like worship she had for Xena in the beginning is what gave Xena the courage to become what her friend saw, an honorable warrior. It was through her journeys with Gabrielle that she began to change, to learn how to love and how to make sacrifices for love. Gabrielle began to teach her that from the very first episode when she told her she would not be alone anymore. As they traveled together the love grew, their souls entwined and they knew they would be together forever. In the end, Xena was only able to make this supreme sacrifice because of that love and because of her knowledge that it would never be "the end" for them. Xena taught us that to believe in someone is to change the world.

[08] Gabrielle finally became a warrior like Xena. Not a warrior after the fashion of the old Xena, but after the fashion of the one she believed Xena was when she began to follow her. One who fought for good. As she traveled with Xena, she learned how to fight, but never took a life unnecessarily. She learned the lessons of combat, the fear, the sorrow, the loss, and the pain that was unavoidable in battle. She grew in physical strength, her childhood ideals were challenged, as was her love for her friend, and yet she endured with her soulmate by her side. Ironic, isn't it? The bard, who always acted with her heart, needed the strength of a warrior to finally let her friend go. Xena taught us that we cannot hold those we love with selfish fists. We must love them with open hands.

Rob Tapert and the Cast

New hangout of TPTB
Fortress or Ivory Tower, you decide.

[09] To Rob Tapert I say, "thank you from the bottom of my heart". Xena Warrior Princess has changed my life for the better. How many TV shows can say they have had such a profound effect on so many lives? How can I not be grateful? I would not have chosen this end for Xena, but it was not an end, it was a beginning. Now we, the lovers of Xena, have to live the lessons Xena and Gabrielle taught us. We need to reach beyond ourselves to those who are in need and allow our love and "courage to change the world".

[10] My first step is to forgive Rob Tapert for this pain that I feel, even now as the tears flow, for surely his words caused this pain. Rob, I do forgive you and the forgiveness comes easily. The greater pain would have been to never know these wonderful characters and the wonderful actors who portrayed them. Without you, there would be no Xena and Gabrielle and therefore, no Dar and Kerry, no Angel and Ice, no Catherine and Jace, no Taylor and Torrey, no Ryan and Jamie, no Missy Good, no Sue Beck, no Julie Dragon, no LJ Maas, no SX Meagher, no Mary D, or the countless other fan fiction characters and authors that Xena and Gabrielle have inspired. Thank you Rob for not only allowing the fan fiction and fan art to flourish but for embracing it with the hiring of Missy Good.

[11] Thank you Lucy Lawless and Renee O'Connor for bringing these characters to life and blessing our lives with six wonderful years full of memories. You both deserve a long rest. I wish for you a friendship with the depth of Xena and Gabrielle's and I wish you and your families' great joy in the years to come.

What Marvels May the Future Hold

[12] What we need now is for a bard with the imagination to take us from the last visual scene of Xena: Warrior Princess to what we all know happened next. Gabrielle, when faced with a tight situation, one only Xena could fix, took those ashes on a journey to Ares? Archangel Michael? Mt. Fuji? and got Xena back? They live through many more adventures before departing this life together, only to resurface in another time, to be together forever and ever and ever and ever?

[13] Battle on my beloved Warrior Princess and Bard.


Gail Rodger Gail Rodger

Gail Rodger was adopted into a Scottish family in 1954 when she was 2 years old. Raised with the sound of the bagpipes in her ear, music seemed like a natural path. She attended Catawba College in N.C. where she received her degree in music theatre. In 1977 she joined the US Army where she was stationed in Germany as a member of the 7th Army Soldiers Chorus. Gail teaches elementary and junior high music at two schools at the Jersey shore. Her hobbies include reading, traveling, collecting Xena memorabilia, and of course listening to and making music! She now resides in her childhood family home with her two Scottish Terriers, Angus and Robbie.
Favorite episode: THE BITTER SUITE and A DAY IN THE LIFE
Favorite line: Xena to Gabrielle: "Where you go, I'm at your side" FRIEND IN NEED II
First episode seen: A SOLSTICE CAROL
Least favorite episode: MARRIED WITH FISHSTICKS

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