I just watched the film “The Other Woman” with Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow. I had no idea that Phoebe from “Friends” could be such a raging bitch. I was totally intrigued by her painfully difficult relationship with her son’s step-monster, well-played by Portman. But shortly after that storyline wrangled me in like the Octomom herding her pack, the film took a dark turn. I balled my eyes out not only for the duration of the movie, but for at least an hour afterwards, until a xanax and a hot shower were self-prescribed.
I’m not one to push spoilers, but seeing as the movie came out two years ago, whatever... Someone dies.
|(here's Pheebs as she learns what really happens at the end of 'Old Yeller')|
I have dealt with a lot of loss, as most of us have. But who's to say one experience is worse than the other? I remember an old friend that would reference a day being “the worst of her life” when she had to dedicate more than a few hours to studying after arguing with her boyfriend. To me, comparing this to my worst day made hers look like a walk through a Louis Vuitton full of freebies. Thankfully I realize now that each of us has our own gauge for processing loss, and however difficult, we shouldn’t judge because of it.
Which brings me to totally judging this quote from Winnie the Pooh…
It has always really bothered me, and here’s why.
Many years ago, my parents strolled a beautiful cemetery in order to purchase a family plot, knowing that my father would make use of it long before anyone else. My dad suggested checking out the mausoleum, to which my mother replied, “I don’t want to be in a mausoleum because I want you to be able to plant daffodils when you visit me”.
My father was dying of brain and bone cancer. They both knew full well she would be the one visiting him, but even just for a moment, she didn’t want him to look at it that way.
I wasn’t there when the conversation happened but have always remembered the story as one of my mother’s most loving and selfless moments.
None of us want to think about the ones we love leaving us, but to put the burden of dealing with that loss upon ourselves, to hope that they leave us before we leave them, that is an ultimate act of love.
Granted, we have little control over whether we live to be one hundred, or one hundred minus one day, but I believe that if you truly love someone, you want to be the one who lasts the extra few hours.