I had no clue why I was crying my heart out during watching the movie, Me before you in the cinema. Maybe you think it was just an ’Oh-that-is-so-cute’-type of cry, but NO! Neither a ’poor-supercute-hyperrich-megasuccessful-guy-what-a-shame-that-he-has-to-live-his-life-in-a-wheelchair-after-a-motorcycle-accident’-type of cry. I felt the pain in my chest, weeping as I would have lost somebody too. The sobbing held me tightly till the end of the movie and as they turned on the lights I ran out of the room like an ostrich, my head on my chest to remove the remains of the cried-down makeup, before somebody would think that I compete for the role of Joker at the audition of the new Batman movie.
The film has received both awful and a little bit nicer critiques, but without a doubt for the disabled communities with its ‘negative message’ definitely it became the bull’s-eye. But this is not the topic I would like to talk about. I work as an HR Coordinator and not a movie critic and I am more than happy to pass the role to either glamorize or criticize the role of Emilia Clarke (Lou) or Sam Claflin (Will) or the work of the director, Thea Sharrock. This movie brought clarification to me and – as it has happened before – a message found me (or I found the message through this film) exactly when I needed it to discover the right spot for a couple other puzzle pieces of my life.
I realized that watching the movie triggered so much pain in me, because I have somebody in my life who – not as openly as Will does in the film – also slowly wants to say goodbye to his life. And this somebody is my alcoholic dad. If my family reads this blog post, most probably they will crucify me, because I open wide the door of a wardrobe containing a ‘skeleton’ of the family. But I feel that I am not alone if I confess that somebody, a person, close to my heart, started to harm himself years ago. Think of all those, who live their every day lives with addictions or those, who have given up the fight against different illnesses.
Tell me!!! WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WOULD SEE YOUR PARTNER, RELATIVE, FRIEND STRUGGLING AND GIVING IT UP?? Giving up seeking support, giving up seeing other ways and giving up to believe that choice exists. Most probably you would try to save him/her as Lou tried her best in the movie.
Since my early childhood, I was making my own efforts to do the same with my dad. I initiated many many conversations with him and listed all the negative effects of alcoholism. (I suppose I do not have to list them here). I tried in a funny way, kindly, angrily sometimes with shouting. But my words like arrows glanced off from his hard shell or even if he heard me, he called me ‘silly little kid’, who did not understand the world of the adults. I felt responsible for my dad and although nobody had requested, I was carrying that burden till today. As a good student on her first day going to school, I chucked on happily (and subconsciously) my school bag, but instead of books and notebooks I was ‘carrying a skeleton’ who became heavier and heavier with the years passing. I wanted to be a Heroine who with a grim determination saw only one task in front of her: Saving Dad! I felt that in the name of LOVE at least I had to feel bad watching my dad ruining his own health. And how many times I felt like a failed heroine? I tortured myself and assigned blame to myself, because NOTHING has worked.
How many times I wanted to shout at him angrily, that he has not seen what he was doing with himself and people around him?!
How many times I wanted to shake him with despair to ‘wake him up’?!
And how many times I wanted to ask him gently if he has seen any other ways to live or see other solutions. But he has decided…
At the end of the movie when Will according to his final decision travels into Switzerland for euthanasia, Lou and his dad have a conversation:
‘Lou’s Father: You can’t change who people are.
Lou Clark: Then what can you do?
Lou’s Father: You love them.’
That conversation struck me and I realised that saving my dad is not my task. I have only one task to undertake:
ACCEPT! LETTING IT GO! AND LOVE!
Accepting the decision of my dad and do not intend to change it!
Accepting that that is his life and do not intend to intervene!
And accepting, that saving him is neither my task nor my responsibility!
If you need me I am here, but I let you have your own journey!