Inspiration and Unity: The Power in Family Don’t End With Blood
Love can be hard to verbalize. It goes beyond simply the four-letter word or a moment in time. It is an enduring experience that moves us and impacts our world view in ways we never knew possible but can’t possibly imagine changing once we experience it. And this is the kind of love that the narratives bring together in Lynn K. Zubernis' book Family Don’t End With Blood. This is the love that the book beautifully details in each and every unique, moving chapter - looking at what the SPN Family is all about.
In reading the essays and tributes compiled in #FDEWB, scribed by both fans and stars of the show, it is so clear to see why Supernatural has had the widespread impact that it has, why we come back year after year to watch Sam and Dean Winchester on their journey and why we simply smile and walk away from family or friends who shake their heads and can’t understand how a TV show could be so powerful.
Each story in the book has it’s own flow and unique way of presenting their connection to Supernatural. Some chapters are written by the actors who are familiar faces from the show, including Jared Padalecki’s moving tribute to his fans telling how we have touched him so resoundingly. For this reader, the most impactful stories aren’t from the actors; rather they are the stories of the fans, the viewers just like you and me who all have a different journey that led them to discover Supernatural and have some truly inspirational words to offer about the road so far.
“Through all these adventures I met amazing women, ones so much more like me than any I’d known before, who helps shape me into the person I am today. Each experience with them has continued to add so much to my life. They helped buoy me through all kids of roller-coaster experiences…have taught me valuable lessons about being a great friend, having true friends and what it means to be a single adult woman with passions and interest just that little bit outside the mundane.” (FDEWB, p107)
This book is not just for fans though. FDEWB is an ideal look into the Supernatural world that can help a casual observer who doesn’t understand just how meaningful it is, connect to someone who is involved in our community. These stories are not told by the stereotypical “fangirl” but rather offer relatable stories from neighbours, friends, co-workers and family members who share how Supernatural changed their lives in one way or another. Some have been introduced to SPN after a tragedy, others through friends: all manner of discovery and lives are represented, including the other side of the Hollywood looking glass, so to speak – how the fans touch the actors, and how the show has changed the actors in and of itself.
It maybe sound redundant to suggest that actors have seen their lives changed by the success of a long running TV show. Of course the fame, fortune and successful career that comes with this will change their life. That might be the so-called Regular Joe’s thoughts, at least. FDEWB offers so much more. Fans of Supernatural understand and share a more intimate connection with the actors – this book demonstrates how the fans reach out and the actors reach back in a multitude of ways. The relationships are kinetic, emotional and remarkable in the way this community pulls together.
These essays connect to the readers because they are the everyday fan and actor as individual people. What is so touching about each essay is the realness of the words and the way each writer is able to relay their personal story so openly. The Supernatural community is massive, no doubt, nevertheless these tales connect so wholly on an intimate level because, in spite of the largeness of the community, there is an intimacy and innate trust – all of which is felt when reading Family Don’t End With Blood. After reading Family Don’t End With Blood I was moved again by the awesome power of our community: by the way people will come together in support and celebration alike.
“…this show has saved and changed my life in so many ways. It has given me stories and characters that have helped me fight on darks days to believe that I am good and that I am worth fighting for, because if the boys can keep fighting, so can I. The fandom has shown me community that can be kind and generous, and full of laughter.” (FDEWB, p206)
I’ve been a Supernatural fan since the summer between season three and four. It was an impulse that made me buy the DVDs on Amazon and I’ve never looked back. In 2012, when my life took a sudden and startling turn because of an unexpected, epilepsy diagnosis, Supernatural was still there. In the five years since as I’ve rebuilt my life, relearned everyday things (like typing) and worked to build a new life that was nothing like I had planned, Supernatural has been a motivator, a support and a comfort. And a reward system that included my first convention in Toronto in 2016, when I was finally well enough to travel. The convention, as some of you will know, was indescribable. Simply one of the best weekends I’ve yet to have – in large part due to the energy of all the fellow SPN lovers (and fangirling over the stars too, yes). This book captures all these emotions and so much more. Once I read FDEWB I knew it couldn’t be a one off, that to experience SPNFamily is too incredible.
Do yourself a favour, read Family Don’t End With Blood. Share it with a Supernatural novice. As the cover says it truly is a book about “…how Supernatural has changed lives” and the book is just as powerful.
Editor's Note: If you haven't yet purchased your copy of Family Don't End With Blood, hit the button on the top of this page to be linked directly to Amazon-U.S.. Your purchase helps support The WFB too!