Monday, July 31, 2006

Claire's Journey of Moments

A few weeks ago, I watched the last few episodes of Six Feet Under (on HBO). I had never seen the series before, with the exception of random episodes here and there. I watched the last episodes because Raj, who had followed the series, wanted to watch them.

I thought they were exceptionally good, but they were also almost too much to handle emotionally. I know this probably sounds silly as I'm talking about a TV show; one in which I had not even been invested prior to watching the last few episodes. But keep in mind the entire series deals with death. Each episode starts with a death, and the end of the series ended with many deaths that all happened in the course of a few dramatic minutes against the back drop of an achingly sad, beautiful song. The writers pulled out all the stops.

In the last episode, during the last 10 minutes of the show, Claire drives off, headed for New York, to start her life on her own. Cut in between shots of her face as she's driving, we are shown pictures of her returning home, of her family members marrying, dying, of children being born, growing up, and of them too dying. In the flash of a few moments where Claire sets out to start her life, we see her entire life, along with the lives of all of her loved ones and all of the main characters on the show, all of ttheir hopes, joys, and losses, pass by and end, as all things eventually do, in death.

I started crying watching the scenes of her life go by, and by the end, though I tried to hold myself together, I was crying so hard I couldn't at first explain to Raj why I was so upset. I didn't understand it either, I just knew that I was overwhelmed with sadness. As we lay on the bed and he held me and rubbed my shaking back, all I could get out was I don't want them to die, and I don't want anything to happen to them.

It wasn't that I was said for Claire. I was sad that we are all going on the same journey that Claire went on, and just as her life was compressed into the span of a few moments, all of ours could be compressed similarly down to a few details, thought the details might differ: we leave home, we feel hope, we fall in love, we marry or we don't, we have kids, we feel joy, our kids have kids, our loved ones die, we die, our children die.

Watching the show, it was one of those moments where I was overwhelmed by everything we do in life, despite the inevitability of death. We run around, we work, we fight, we love, we worry about the future, we try to plan, we try to be good to the people that we love, and then we grow old, we have to watch the people that we love leave us, and then we have to leave others that we love behind. I don't want to lose the people I love. I don't want a time to come when I can't talk to my Mom on the phone, when my brothers and sisters aren't around to raz me or support me, when I can't call my Dad up and hear him ask, Everything under control?

Uh-oh, my first day back at work, and I'm turning into an emotional basketcase again. Yikes.

Maybe this means I can't handle death well. Or, maybe it means I need to do a better job talking with my family and not getting upset about stupid things that, in the long run, mean nothing. Maybe it means I need to be stronger, and have perspective, and be grateful for all of the happiness that I have in my life, and to see that the point is living fully instead of being afraid of everything that I might lose. But that is easier said than done.

Here are the lyrics to the song Breath Me, by Sia, that I can't get out of my head:



Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before I
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there's no-one else to blame
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
I'm needy
Warm me up
And breathe me
Ouch, I have lost myself again
Lost myself and I am nowhere to be found,
Yeah I think that I might break
Lost myself again and I feel unsafe
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
I'm needy
Warm me up
And breathe me
Be my friend
Hold me, wrap me up
Unfold me
I am small
I'm needy
Warm me up
And breathe me

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just reading the lyrics of the song made me cry again. I, too, was a wreck during those last 10 minutes of the show. I couldn't explain why, but I think you may have nailed it.
~m

Ally Bean said...

like you i've only seen bits and pieces of that show. and it always tugged at me. i think you've summed it all up very well.

Tracy said...

I get sad too when I think about losing loved ones. I lost my stepdad a few years ago to cancer. I take comfort in knowing that he is in Heaven. I look forward to reuniting with my loved ones when I pass on into Heaven.

Buttercup said...

M, I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was a wreck during those last few minutes.

Ally Bean, Thanks, it's true, every episode that I have seen has tugged emotionally at me in some way. But the last one was the worst!

Tracy, I'm glad that you have that belief and for all I know you are absolutely right. Although I don't call it Heaven, I too hope that the loved ones I have lost are happy and together somewhere else. I also hope that they can see me - now and then - and that they know that I love them and understand the impact they had on me.