The Lonliness of Death
by, 01-12-2012 at 09:58 PM (1834 Views)
I was in a mood tonight.
Anyone who knows me will understand what I am talking about. I get these restless moods; moods where nothing ordinary will do; where I need to see and feel and touch the mystery. Unfortuntaely these moods do not always coincide with the ability to actually go out and do anything that fills these specifications, and tonight was one of those nights.
Caught up on a Thursday night with a pile of work; deadlines coming out of my ears; the desire to touch the mystery looked like a no-go, until my oldest daughter, sensing my mood (she knows me well) asked if I'd let her pick out a movie for me to watch while I finished up my work, she said I wouldn't be dissapointed, and I wasn't.
Meet Joe Black came out years ago, and I remember seeing it when it first hit the theaters and being impressed. I've watched it several times since; each time seeing new depths and nuances in the story and the characters but tonight, for some reason, I found myself feeling especially sorry for death.
The main character - Joe Black - is actually the personification of Death who has taken over the body of a young man that death "took" earlier in the day in order to experience what it means to live. He (death) strikes a deal with a very well-to-do, powerful and well-respected man who is "scheduled" to die very soon. Death will give him a few extra days to live and put his affairs in order if he will, in turn, let Death follow him around and see what it is like to live a real human life.
Of course there is plenty of drama involved, Joe (Death's) presence is not well-received as no one knows who he is or where he came from, and during the course of the story Death ends up falling in love with the rich man's daughter but gives her up so that she can live her life, even going so far as to give the young man back his body when he leaves, taking the rich father with him.
But while in past viewings I've identified with the daughter who falls in love with (and then loses) her lover, and with the father who is facing his worst fears in seeing everything come to an end; but for some reason this time around I identified with death instead.
Imagine finally experincing what it means to truly live; what it means to truly be alive and to laugh and love, and then having to give it all up. Imagine what it must be like to finally find love - to not be alone after having been all by yourself; one of a kind; since life began; and knowing that you will not be able to keep it; knowing that once again you will have to be alone as you always have been, with no one who can truly understand who you are. no one who can hold you in their arms and tell you that everything is going to be okay.
What kind of sacrifice does that take? What kind of love does that take? And what kind of lonliness is now going to be experienced for once haivng had tasted what it means to truly belong?
Yes, I must say, she gauged my mood well tonight. It's given me lots to think about - and given me a chance to catch up on my work, and I am grateful for both.
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