This is an emotional post and contains major plot points regarding two recent movies: "Breakthrough" and "Mia and the White Lion"
I recently saw the movie "Breakthrough" about a young teen who suffers a tragic accident, and how his mother prays for his safe recovery.
From the previews, I could tell it was going to be a tearjerker, but still I wanted to see it. I don’t shy away from movies that affect my emotions or trigger me. Actually, quite the opposite. I gravitate towards them. I see others like myself, who express their emotions and deal with the ugly, and not so pretty or positive in life. I get a chance to release some emotion over someone else’s situation, instead of my own. Even at risk of getting triggered, I generally still find such movies to be positive experiences for me.
Back to the subject at hand. So I saw "Breakthrough" and as I expected, I got triggered with my own grief, but good. I related to the Mom praying as her son lay there dying and laying lifeless. I related to how with every fiber of her being, she believed she could bring him back from the dead. I related to this on a level that hardly anyone knows.
The night my Dad died, when I finally made it to my parents apartment, I did the exact same thing as the Mother in this movie. I laid on the floor next to my Dad and I prayed harder than I ever have for anything in my 45 years, harder than all the medical and cancer scares, harder than my own struggles with different events in my life. I had such strong faith, I thought I could will my Dad back to life. I was sure of it. He had always pulled through before. He was going to open his eyes, I would hug and kiss him, and we would go on with life. I prayed and prayed, I cried, I hugged him, I told him I was sorry I hadn’t gotten there sooner.
I was actually flabbergasted he didn’t wake up.
So you can see, or once you see this movie, you will see, why this movie and topic is such a struggle. In the movie, the prayer works. A miracle occurs. The miracle I wanted, but was not meant to be for me or my Dad. The miracle I feel was stolen out from under me, like a carpet ripped from the floor.
I was thankful the movie showed that miracles happen, but I was left wondering why not my miracle. My hope and faith were just as strong as the Mother in the movie. So was my Mom’s. Why not my Dad?
He would be the first one to tell me "why not me" should not even be a question because it implies "why not someone else"
There is no answer. I felt strongly enough about this we went to the cemetery to visit my Dad so I could ask him myself. And I did.
In a strange coincidence, as we entered the cemetery, "Stand By Me" was playing on the radio. This is ironic because after we left the hospital when my Dad was initially diagnosed with cancer, the same song was playing on the radio as I walked from the car into our apartment - in 1988.
I told him it wasn’t fair. I asked him why couldn’t we get a miracle, too. My Mother was right next to me as we talked and I told her I just didn’t understand why.
After we left the cemetery, we saw another movie that had another lesson for me to learn. "Mia and the White Lion" - a girl becomes attached to a lion that she helps raise from birth, and then she helps to set it free in a preserve. Although she and this Lion were intimately attached to each other, she loved him enough to set him free.
I’m coming off a weekend where my Dad’s loss is noticed and felt more - celebrating Passover with family. We are heading into next weekend, the Chandler Relay for Life - another event with strong memories of life with my Dad and honoring his memory as a cancer survivor.
I was kind of aloof about this while he was alive, and you could even say denial to a point...but Relay has taken on a brand new meaning on a whole new level without him being there. It is tough, and I expect this year will be no different - only our second one since his death.
I’m not there yet. Well, more accurately, sometimes I can set him free, and sometimes I cannot. Such is grief. I love my Dad. The struggle of mourning is how do you let go of someone you love so much. How do you let go of something that has stolen your innocence and a part of your heart.
I feel like I’m in the middle of my own breakthrough. I haven’t figured it all out yet, and I think there is definitely more to uncover. Much of what I’ve written here I haven’t expressed before.
More to come, as I am definitely a work in progress.