Now that we’re aware of the circumstances around Jack’s death on This Is Us and how that dreadful day went down, we’re left with the aftermath of the event, and Rebecca having to step up for her children to keep their lives together … as much as possible. Rebecca hasn’t ever actually “stepped down” from trying to be the perfect mother, she’s just always been overshadowed because of how great Jack was as a father. As we can see with how she handled Jack’s death, Rebecca was the stronger parent all along.

Rebecca’s Strongest Moments

It’s no secret or surprise that Rebecca is strong emotionally, considering how much of their lives have led her to the brink of emotional breakdowns. However, Rebecca consistently hasn’t gotten the praise she deserves for everything she’s done for Jack and her children. This is mostly because of Jack’s role as, you know, “the greatest dad alive” to Kate and Randall, but Rebecca’s always had to try five times as hard with her kids as Jack did, so even when she was the only one holding them together, it wasn’t noticed.

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For instance, when Jack’s addiction problems were spiraling, Rebecca held herself together and helped Jack pull himself up from rock bottom, never doubting her love for him or what she was willing to do for him and their family. Would Jack have done the same thing? Absolutely. But Rebecca didn’t even receive acknowledgment for what she was doing, at least not from their kids at any point in their lives.

Also, Rebecca’s always had to be the mean parent, which was never fair for her. Many of her issues with her kids, Kate especially, are because Jack never had the guts to be the mean parent who wouldn’t let his children do something that was harmful to them. Rebecca had to keep the careful eye on Kate’s eating habits because she saw what was happening when Jack didn’t. Rebecca had to cope with losing a child and Jack’s insistence they adopt Randall (which we know she originally opposed, but was one of the greatest blessings of her life.) And Rebecca had to deal with the majority of the backlash from Kevin for not being the perfect mother and focusing more of her attention on Kate and Randall.

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Jack’s Death

Rebecca’s always had to be the backbone of the Pearson family, and Jack’s death is no different. Again, she’s the one holding her family together under the worst possible circumstances, and it’s even harder because she’s coping with the loss of the love of her life, being alone, and losing their home on top of it.

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As we saw in season 2 episode 14, Rebecca’s first move after learning of Jack’s death was to go tell her kids, and her speech to Miguel about remaining “strong” for them as she delivers news that’s going to ruin the rest of their lives is crushing, defeating and heartbreaking, yet she walks inside and tells them, holding back the tears and the agony that’s crushing her inside. Not many people could deal with this kind of loss and heartbreak the way Rebecca did. Jack probably couldn’t have done the same thing.

How Rebecca held their lives together long enough for her children to graduate high school is beyond me — not only that, but since she wasn’t working at the time, she would have had to find some sort of job — and it goes to show how much strength Rebecca has that isn’t acknowledged enough on This Is Us. Sure, we’ve had a few lines about how great Rebecca was during Jack’s death, and how their lives are so much better because of her, but Rebecca is still living in the shadow of Jack’s parenting, and he was never the better parent. She is.

What do you think? Does Rebecca deserve more recognition? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC. Like our This Is Us Facebook page!

(Image courtesy of NBC)

Jay Ruymann

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV