Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fade out.

I never wanted to be away from her. She had the spark of life.
I enjoy Halloween as much as the next guy.

Every year I try to find a new terrifyingly excellent film to absorb.
This year's official selection: Away from Her.

A couple of 44 years deals with Alzheimer's.  
What follows is the stuff of terror: 
sorrow, guilt, regret, doubt, heartbrokenness, unreasonable hope, despair...
It's all there!  Fire sale!

I think I may be beginning to disappear.
The film flutters around the dwindling lives of Grant and Fiona Anderson.  Fiona, a lovely, exquisitely intelligent, gentle soul, develops the memory stealing disease.  After much wrestling with reality, Mrs. Anderson decides that it is time that she be put into a home.  The worst of it for Mr. Anderson, is that the nursing home has a strict policy: no visitors for the first thirty days after admittance.

Well, once again, Nurse Kristy is taking me back to the second floor. The area to my right are the elevators, and as we go on down the hall, there's a man with a broken heart, broken in a thousand pieces.
Through 44 years of marriage, the couple had never spent that much time apart.  That's a world that Grant Anderson doesn't know how to circumnavigate.  Somehow, some way, he is able to see it through.  On day 31 he eagerly anticipates his reunion with his beloved.

She doesn't remember him.  Worse, she has become infatuated with another inmate.  We are led to believe that Grant comes to visit Fiona everyday.  Mostly he just watches her with her new beau.  When the day comes that the Fiona's new love is taken away, she spirals into a depression.  When Mr. Anderson comes to comfort his wife, her grief is a smattering of all the pain that's passed through her in life.

My Grandmother lost her husband in 2007.  In 2008 she remarried.  In 2009 that husband died as well.

I've never quite understood it, but her grief now is not held only to her latest husband's death.  No, she grieves both losses.

I don't understand how love works, but it appears sorrow functions in the same manner.  Love can be vast and be expressed in so many different hues, but still it remains somehow as one thing.  Grief is the same way.  A lovely person can love the world over.  And the person beaten by loss breathes it all in as one form.

Love is singular and plural.  A Father loves each of his children individually, distinctly, yet, that affection is all from the same 'stuff', the same source of Fatherly affection.  And yet, this lake of love has no bottom.  A good Father can keep adding sons and daughters; adding, adding, adding, and yet it never takes away from the love of the individual.

I'd like you to go. Because I need to stay here and if you make it hard for me, I may cry so hard I'll never stop.
Grief too.  Grief is only grief.  My Grandmother need not dissociate one sorrow from another.  They act as one.  All her grief, past and present, appears as one snarling demon of present betrayal.  

When it comes to sorrow, it's always a fade to white.

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