Nikki Pennington, a mom and writer, has always been candid about how difficult losing her mom has been. While she's open about admitting she'd do pretty much anything to have one last conversation with her mother, she was caught off guard at just how emotional Frozen 2 would make her while seeing it with her son in theaters. In an honest Facebook post, she described how much she related to Elsa and Anna, two princesses who are also forced to navigate life without their mom.
"I didn't realize watching Frozen 2 would thaw my frozen heart," she wrote. "I mean it's a kids movie, but it did something for this motherless daughter. I cried silently as Elsa could hear the voice of her mother calling to her even though she could no longer see her because I can still hear my mom's voice and words guiding me."
Throughout the movie, Nikki found that she was able to relate to the princesses, especially when she saw Elsa look for her mom despite knowing she had passed away. "I wiped away the tears as she searched for her even though she knew she was gone but she looked anyways because I still search for my mom, too," she explained. "I search for her in old pictures, I search for her in old text messages and voicemails, I search for her in crowds."
"I lost it when my youngest son looked over and said, 'Mommy you are a princess like Elsa.'"
While Elsa's situation certainly made her sad, there were heartwarming points Frozen 2 brought up that she simply couldn't ignore. "I smiled as her sister and friends joined in to help her find answers to questions about her mom dying because they knew that's what she needed. They showed up, [and] helped her face some ugly things without questions. I've had an Anna, Sven, Olaf, and Kristoff in my life," explained Nikki. "The ones that let me talk about my mom, the one's that remind me she's still there and the one's that walk this grief journey with me."
At a deeper level, Nikki knows that the movie sends an emotional message: you can still carry a piece of someone with you even though they're no longer with you physically.
"I cried a little more when she realized that her mother had been with her all along, reminding her that she was not there but she wasn't truly gone because the truth is death can't end a mother's love," she said, adding that she took the moment to heart. "Then I lost it when my youngest son looked over and said, 'Mommy you are a princess like Elsa.'"
After reflecting on the movie, Nikki decided to show her gratitude toward Disney. After all, it was nice to feel included in a storyline, even if it made her a little sad. "Well I am certainly not a princess, but the truth is — me and Elsa — we do have a lot in common, [we're] both motherless daughter just doing the best we can to make our moms' proud," she said. "Thank you, Disney, for helping me realize that even though I'm an adult you still put characters just like me in your movies and prove that even a princess who seems to have it all still deals with grief and loss."