I watched a very good movie the other day, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, and it has been hanging in my mind. I’ve had an emotional reaction to the film. Like, a real deep big tear-inducing emotional reaction.
The film starts off with the news reporter announcing that all attempts to stop this meteor have fail. The Earth will be destroyed in X number of days, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Everyone on Earth is going to die. That is the end. Over. Dead.
And I guess, everyone on Earth is going to die. Over. Dead. One day . . .when their time comes.
Part of me wanted to turn off the film immediately. It would be too emotional, I told myself. But another part of me was so intrigued. This film would be one big conversation around death and life, and everyone in that story was on the same playing field. Terminal illness no longer mattered. Accidents no longer mattered. Health no longer mattered. Obligations no longer mattered. Fighting for your life no longer mattered. Everyone was in the same boat.
And it is from here in the film that the protagonist finds the love of his life, days before the meteor hits, and they end up in bed having a conversation along these lines right before the film ends.
She says, “I wish we had met earlier. Like when we were kids.”
And he says, “It wouldn’t have been enough time. There would never be enough time. We had to meet each other now. It had to be this way.”
As the meteor begins to hit the earth (chunks of it, I imagine), with crashing noises in the far off distance. he calms her fears by asking about her childhood, and how many siblings she has, and what her favourite colour is. And that is the end of the movie. They die. They were never not going to die.
Why can’t it be that easy to accept death? And why can’t I just admit aloud, “I think about dying all the time. Like every day. I’m afraid to push things off too long, because everything could change any moment. I know I’m going to die. There will never be enough time, no matter how much time I am given. It scares me. It breaks my heart that I might leave the people I love. It wakes me up. It follows me in the good times, and it confronts me in the bad times.”
And then not have someone respond: “You have to think positive. You will beat this. You are going to live a long time.”
Because that may all be true, but sometimes I really just need to talk about dying. A gentle conversation where I don’t need to feel guilty for my fears or emotions.
Zsolt says he is here if I want to talk about dying. I reckon it must scare him a little, but he’s here. He also said, that maybe he just doesn’t completely understand, because he doesn’t think about dying much at all.
And the thing is, I don’t want to dread death. I just don’t. I would rather live with it. Make it a friend. Know it will be a good thing whenever it comes, because a part of me will be going back to whatever I was before I got here.
Matching the theme of death, I’ve been reading Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. There is a quote that one ghost girl says, as she dreams about really, truly dying properly.
“We’ll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we’ll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our home and always was.”
Isn’t that so beautiful? How is there sadness in that image? How is there any failure or lost battles in that?
I’d like to see death as going home, I would like the idea to not haunt me, but walk alongside me – and I reckon that will only happen if I admit it is there in the first place.
My name is Catherine, and I think about death. I think about it quietly, because I worry how others might feel if they knew this secret side of myself. And I don’t want to be told to keep fighting, unless, of course, it comforts someone to say it. Otherwise this is my life, and I decide when and how I live. I know how to keep living (forget fighting, that isn’t my style – it’s more about living and loving wholeheartedly, passionatly), and I think one day I’ll know when I am done. These choices are mine alone, and I’m pretty stubborn about those kinds of things.
I love living, and I plan on basking in life. Yes, I have fears. I worry over death. I worry over hurting others, particularly my husband. I am scared of what might come. But in the “now” I do my very best – you know? I just do my very best. I love my very best. There will never be enough time, but right “now” feels quite enough.
So all of this to say, dying happens. And I need to be able to talk about it sometimes. Maybe just here on the blog, where I talk about things that are otherwise too uncomfortable to share. And once in a while, I need to write a post that doesn’t ultimately strive to comfort those reading it, either.
This post is for me. I’ve said it. It’s done. And I’m still here despite all of that.
Sigh of contentment. I sure do love being alive.
P.S. Zsoltster, szeretlek . Ne aggódj, mert én nem megyek sehova. Te vagy az én horgonyt .