Love life – Stricken.

Disclaimer: This is gonna be a heavy post. 

I might be somewhat of a morbid person cause I have a strong liking to watch movies that make me cry and literally hold my heart in my hands. I actually enjoy sitting through a movie where I constantly feel as though I’ve a dagger slashed up against my throat. Where I get so immersed in the film and the characters, that nothing else around me matters. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy a light-hearted rom-com just as much, but if you give me an option between a movie that would make you cry and one that you will laugh your stomach out, I’d choose the former.

That was exactly how I felt watching Stricken. It was a very good film I have enjoyed after a long time. A movie that made me cry, laugh (amidst my tears), think and question.

Is cheating nature or nurture? Is terminal illness an excuse for one to cheat? Are you expected to slip in the face of adversity? Are you expected to stay faithful even after your partner has passed on? Who has it harder, the one who has the cancer or the partner battling with losing the love of his life? Would you rather live life knowing how you many more months you have to live or live in the not knowing? Would you still love your husband if you know he’s cheating on you while you’re here battling cancer? How do you feel about the nights you spend in the toilet puking, while the one you promised to have and hold on to, in sickness and in health , ’till death do us apart is satisfying his lust with the body of another woman? The one with a better body and perfect breasts.

Here’s a good review about this film.

If you haven’t already deduced, this film is about love, cancer, cheating and fatherhood. I might even want to re-watch this again. Am I weird? Yes, I think so cause I like to battle sadness with sadness. I listen to sad songs when I’m sad. I hope I’m not alone in this.

Do you enjoy/hate watching movies that make you cry?

On the topic of grief and death, this article (Comforting that collides with grief) is a worthwhile read.

“Of all the things we learn as we go through life, learning how to express grief and sorrow is not among them until you are face to face with it.”

Dealing with death.

Please be warned this is gonna be a heavy post. I may or may not make sense in many areas or at all. But, this is just how I see it – death. 

I count myself lucky that my closest of kin i.e. grandparents, uncles, aunts and parents are all physically around with me. I haven’t lost a close friend due to death yet. But, I’ve been affected when I hear about the sudden passing of familiar faces. The faces you saw frequently, some occasionally. Yet you never would have thought, that would have been the last interaction. When such a thing happens, I begin to wonder why things had to play out such? Why were they caught in that situation, in that moment? Why hadn’t it been someone else in that place in time? Why did they do something out of the norm? Were they destined to die? Or, was it just a matter of bad luck?

When my distant uncle passed on 4.5 years ago, I was amidst school commitments. I didn’t know how to react when I heard the news as I was wrapping up the event I had organised. I couldn’t remember when I saw him last. When I last heard his laugh. But, I wished him well for he was in a better place. He was a religious man. He was a grandfather to many. A happy man who had lived life. His passing felt natural, justified.

My cousin passed on in an accident, mishap when she was a few months shy of turning 12. I was in my secondary school at that time. Around 15 years old. We didn’t grow up together and saw each other during family gatherings probably once a year, hence were not close. I wasn’t deeply affected by her death. I was sad, for she passed away at such a young age when she had a whole life ahead of her. I felt sad for her parents, her two older siblings who doted on her being the last child of the family. I wondered why she had to climb onto her stool to grab her favourite dress when she had already changed into something else after coming out of her shower. Did she want to surprise her dad who was returning home after a business trip for Father’s Day? Why did her mother enter the shower just after her daughter came out? Would this have happened if her mum had showered before her daughter went in?

Time is said to heal wounds. But, does it? When it’s not just hurt but loss. The loss of a life. The loss of your loved one. The unexplainable amount of pain you feel in every bone of yours. When sometimes even tears fail to pour the pain in your heart out. Some deal with death by turning to religion. They seek peace and comfort in the guidance He shows. Does it really work? Some try to busy themselves with things, in the hope of occupying themselves so that their mind doesn’t wonder off. Some turn to alcohol to numb the pain. Some continue mentioning their loved one’s name in dinner conversations to feel his/her presence surround them. To feel as if they never left you and that they’re just on a really long vacation in the Caribbean. Some get inked and do a lot of other things to feel physical pain. Some seek other forms of love in the attempt of replacing their loved one. I would think that fails, doesn’t it?

I deal with death by being silent, cause I really think words fail in such moments. Even words like we are all here for you feels like it amounts to nothing although offered with a heart full of love and comfort. There is nothing to be said or done cause all you’re left with are questions when a death hits you so suddenly. You wonder why you took life for granted although you knew very life is short. You knew better than that, despite the cliche-ness of the phrase. All the grievances you had harboured, the anger, the ego all pales when something larger than life hits. All that runs through you are wishes. To have one last time with your loved one. One last conversation. One last touch. One last laugh.

I still offer my words of comfort to someone who is dealing with death. Physical presence by being there for someone works wonders most of the times. But, I’m not sure if I would like these reciprocated when I’m on the receiving end.

You eventually heal. Or, get somewhat close to that. But it takes a long while. A really long while to get there. To find strength beneath all the pain. To continue living life to make your loved one(s) proud. But how do you get there?

How do you deal with death?

Farewell, my friend.

Death. The word that impacts you only when it hits you. The sudden demise of loved ones, forgotten friends, familiar faces. Only then, does it feel all the more real. Otherwise, it’s often a far-fetched, distant part of human life, often not even spoken about.

I admired you for the zest you had about life the first time we struck conversation seated in the lecture theatre. The break during the talk we had to endure for 3 modular credits. The “I dare eat alone” campaign you started in the Arts canteen. I replied you “I’d be there” but couldn’t make it in the last minute. We didn’t have many conversations thereafter since the common lectures we had were few since we were in the final semester. But, I sought inspiration from the pockets of your life you shared via Facebook. Your love for outdoor sports. For music. For travel. For photography. For life, at large. Your positive attitude and optimism.

Amazing photography is the one thing that inspires me on a daily basis. Amidst the coldness of the world, selfish beings, hurtful worlds that get hurled in moments of fury, earthquakes and tsunamis, photography makes me feel like not all the beauty in the world is gone. Not all wasted. Someday, I wish my pocket and also time allow me to travel around the world just to shoot. And by then, I should have mustered up enough courage to venture the world alone.

I posted this above paragraph along with the photo on my personal blog on April 13, 2011.

Even now, I still love the shot. You captured so many thoughts and evoked so many emotions within me. The whole ‘lost in translation’ effect made me pause and reflect.

I take a moment to remember the person you were, you are. You still are. The person that has left so many footprints in the hearts of many you’ve impacted, inspired over these years. 26 short-lived but well-fulfilled years in my eyes.

Rest in peace, my friend.