At first, a show about hospice care might sound despondent, but we can assure you the new AFFIRM Original and Pure Flix exclusive series “Going Home” is anything but. In fact, the actors starring in the show believe the storylines are relatable, inspiring and necessary to tell.
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“It’s a show about loss, but it's equally about hope … when you think of a show about hospice care, you think it's going to be a very depressing show but our show is incredibly uplifting, lighthearted and healing,” said Cozi Zuehlsdorff, who plays nurse Janey. “Every single episode, I'm blown away by the guest stars we have and the stories we’re telling…watching these characters that go through that and the nurses that guide them is just so inspiring.”
Comfort is Care
“Going Home” follows Charley Copeland, head hospice nurse of Sunset House, as she guides families and their loved ones through the transition of this life to the next. Cynthia Geary, who plays Charley, describes her character as “compassionate, caring, loving.”
She knows the job is her calling and has “found a way to use her relationship with God to help others.” She becomes a beacon for these grieving families, learning what it is they need to resolve and have closure as their loved ones face the end of their earthly life. When patients enter the Sunset House, Charley and her staff make sure comfort – physical, spiritual and emotional – is the first and highest priority.
“[Charley] sees the value in every human and what’s important is their relationship and that what happened in the past is not important,” Cynthia Geary says.
READ MORE: 4 REASONS TO WATCH 'GOING HOME,' NEW HEARTFELT SHOW ON NURSES, RELATIONSHIPS & HOPE DURING LOSS
This Show is Beautiful and Necessary
“Going Home” has a storyline for everyone. The authentic conversations, the healing and hope that occurs, the pain and suffering we see, all have a sense of relatability and humanity, no matter what we’re going through. Its storylines truly bring into fruition the phrase, “memento mori” - or remember your death.
“I hope that when a viewer watches ‘Going Home,’ the first thing they want to do after seeing an episode is call up a loved one that they haven’t seen in a while or forgive that person they’ve been holding a grudge against. Life is really short and good deaths come when we least expect them. Our time is now to reconcile and to love,” Cozi Zuehlsdorff expresses.
READ MORE: WHY IT’S IMPORTANT FOR CHRISTIANS TO UNDERSTAND STAGES OF GRIEF
Uncomfortable Conversations Lead the Way
In order to find peace and forgiveness, the families at Sunset House must have hard conversations that we usually don’t see depicted on television. With Charley’s encouragement, characters open up about the struggles and pain that still lingers in their hearts and coax them to make amends. It’s natural to shy away from confronting uncomfortable feelings and emotions, we see it normalized at Sunset House, which was modeled after hospice homes that director and creator Dan Merchant visited.
There are not a lot of shows on TV that give us a chance to explore [death] in this way,” said William Allen Young, who guest stars as Harry Cobb.
Young agreed to the project after reading the script two days after his own mother died. He understood it was divine intervention that led him to the show and was drawn in by the beautiful, honest and authentic way the show handles death.
“Death itself is a part of life,” said Tom Skerrit, who guest stars as Vance, a man grieving his wife before she is gone.
Guest star Vernon Davis agreed and explained that acting in the show prompted him to think about death from a perspective of hope, rather than sorrow.
“I found myself asking, ‘How can I sit here and say that I have a good life? I can say that all day but do I really believe that? Am I really prepared to leave this earth?’”
Being a part of the show prompted a majority of the actors to view death through a more hopeful lens and contemplated their own demise and their own relationships.
“I’ve learned a lot just reading and working on these scripts about my attitude about death and not being afraid of it and how important it is to resolve those issues with family members and to say what needs to be said,” Cynthia Geary said. “At this stage in life, you realize what’s really important and forgive each other and love each other for who we are and what we are.”
Healing Isn’t Just For Patients
Through Charley and Janey’s relationship, we are able to peak into the real-life and day-to-day experiences of hospice nurses. When we first meet Janey, she’s a young, unsuspecting nurse just starting her career at Sunset House. Over the course of the show, with Charley’s mentorship, she grows to develop the temperament and attributes a hospice nurse needs on the job.
At the Sunset House, comfort isn’t just extended to the patients, but to the nurses as well. We see the whole hospice team empathize and grieve with the families. Charley herself acknowledges that her job requires so much of her that she avoids any distractions outside of work. “Going Home” opens the audience’s eyes to the trials and hardships nurses endure for the sake of their profession.
“Going Home” is sure to give the audience a sense of hope even during grievances, prompt them to think about death in a positive light and inspire them to see where forgiveness may be needed in their lives. Don't miss the June 2 premiere of “Going Home” streaming exclusively on Pure Flix by signing up for a free 7-day trial.