Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Four Years, Fading to Darkness

It was four years ago tonight that my mother died, followed a year and a half later by my father after dealing with Alzheimer's. There were a few other losses in the middle of all this and shortly after, a whirlwind that was oddly wedged by two movies that seemed emblematic -- Trouble in Paradise when I got the news about my mother, Tokyo Story when I found out about my father.
I came away with definite insights, but I don't find myself at that different point than where I was four years ago. But now, as I reflect on the cycle of loss, I no longer feel sadness, only memories that haven't dimmed but no longer sting.

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At 12:42 AM, Blogger The Blue Elephant said...

Sweet reflections. Welcome to the Society of Orphans, which we all become sooner or later -- but at least we have each other! Your slide show that is all endings reminds me that I wish to make a CD that is only the verses of songs, especially Rodgers and Hart songs that have such wonderful verses.

At 11:44 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jim - Unless we die young ourselves, this is an issue we all ultimately face. Unique as we think our individual suffering and loss may be, it's an opportunity to open up to that which is universal.

The slide show of closing credits was inspired by an exhibit currently on display at Artists Television Access on Valencia. They have a running loop of the final seconds of many classic films.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

It is nice to hear the pain does go away. I find myself trying to hate or drink the pain away. Its nice to know it fades by itself and I don't need to drink or hate so much.

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gavin - There was enough drinking and hating along the way. I can't say that helped but those things were part of it.

At 3:44 PM, Blogger jason said...

I'm glad to hear that the memories haven't dimmed. Don't know why, but somehow I think I'd rather them sting still than dim.

At 5:32 PM, Blogger WAT said...

Hola querido.

Your post is a bit moving. I'm only a half orphan at this point as I still have my mommy and try to appreciate and enjoy her as much as possible.

It's funny, but when my father died some seven years ago, I couldn't help but feel like part of me was dead. It was the weirdest feeling. I kept looking in the mirror, saying "Wow, I am part of my father, still living, but he is gone."

By the way, speaking of that shitty Alzheimer's, have u seen the Julie Christie movie yet? What's it called again? She was just nominated for an Oscar. I wonder if the movie would be too sensitive for you, but I hear her performance is great. I may catch it soon myself. I think it's on DVD.

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Jason - I'd rather have the pain and joy of memories than being numb to anything that might hurt...or bring joy.

WAT - Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you appreciate having your mom. One of the hardest parts of losing a parent is you feel you have lost your own identity as a son or a daughter. Now that they've both been gone a while I know I'll always be their son, and I still feel them with me. Losing a parent is worse than losing a spouse/partner, I think, since there is never hope of finding a replacement. And I would not want anyone to have the audacity to replace my parents.

I've not seen the Julie Christie movie yet. Now that I have some distance, I have no problem with the topic and have wanted to do some volunteering with the local Alzheimer's support groups.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Gary said...

The 'cycle of loss', that's how life can be viewed in general - death being the only thing we can all count on (well, that and change). But refelction is good and I am glad that you are able to feel some joy again when remembering.

I just finished reading Goldie Hawn's autobiography 'A Lotus Grows in the Mud' (which I keep referencing...who knew THAT would happen :) and she wrote about the loss of her parents. She said after they passed she felt like there was never anyone who would love her that way again and that there was never another who would be as proud. Totally heartbreaking.

I was with my mom when she got the phone call that her mom was gone. And the depth of her cry when she hung up the phone will haunt me forever. Honestly, everyday I let my parents know how much I love them and thank them for this life. (sorry this comment was so long.)

At 4:51 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Gary - Nice thoughts, and who knew such wisdom could come from Goldie?

At 5:01 PM, Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

hugs, hugs, hugs....I know the day when come when I too join the society blue talks of....death is in the nature of life itself.

thanks for sharing - memories are indeed a magic elixir and provide a comfort like nothing else.

the julie christie movie, away from her, was part of my personal film fest the weekend of the blizzard - and I heartily recommend it....

namaste sweet friend


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