I am still reeling from seeing the movie, Amour.
The pace was excruciatingly slow; the piece was dark, wreaked of decay and the subject, dismal.
What made it worse for me, I believe, is how it brought back my dad’s long-term illness and my friend’s final months with cancer. Here, in the solemn theater, I let the tears roll down my face, again, wiping them away with the back of my bare hands. I wanted to sob but I choked and sunk the impulse down.
On the other hand, it enlightened me on some sore points I thought I had a reason to judge on both those deaths by widening my scope of the intimate, daily trudging and caretaking those closest actually went through. Watching the weakening and dismantling of the person ailing, with no hope of getting better. Being in the presence of humiliating body dysfunction of your loved one. Trying to reconcile your life before with the reality of the harsh truth that lies ahead.
While I went about my business, like the daughter in the movie, my father and my friend sank further into the depths of the daily task of dying, ever so slowly.
And I realize I couldn’t have done it differently, either. I admonished myself enough and this quiet, moving description on screen, allowed some relief.
Even so, while duly processing this artistic endeavor, I felt my way through by munching not during but after the movie – on popcorn. A half-bucket of the largest sized popcorn. Then, at home, cookies were awaiting my arrival and I proceeded to eat them mindlessly while trying but not succeeding to obliterate the last few hours. I even added ice cream to the mix. I knew I was emotionally eating and making bad choices (and I had started the day so well and so planned) but it really didn’t matter as I wrangled with the visual I kept playing in my head.
They say that whenever there is a death, you re-live and grieve other loss you have had. Anne’s death, even though you know is coming in the movie and I wasn’t even invested in for long, brought back lots of emotion.
I didn’t just over eat, I also wrote and I watched inane hockey on TV. I also spent quality time with my college bound daughter who is leaving bright and early tomorrow morning. I needed to re-group and be in the moment, especially after my despair into gluttony. I have to work on that reflex reaction to mask pain.
Next time, I may make a better choice, like weeping alone, under the covers or taking a brisk walk outside.
Nonetheless, I endorse watching this movie because it will produce a response. It is superbly acted and who can resist the French? Not moi!