Like many of you I have been binge-watching a few series and watching many movies. Besides writing and dabbling back into my creative side of the brain, entertainment on the tube has been part of my grief-stricken-quarantine-life. Some of it has been an escape while some of it has been a trigger point for breakdowns. The number one source for breakdowns has been music. I’ve been trying to listen to things I normally would listen to, but knowing my man ain’t around anymore just makes it harder. On that note, I can’t watch certain things either – there are a few shows/movies we didn’t get to finish together and I have left it at that. I don’t have the heart to go back and finish. What’s the point?
Any who … I binged “Black Mirror” the past few weeks (yeah, some of you are like, “You’re a little late to the game” but whatever!). Literally each episode is pretty mind-blowing! I finally caught up and had a conversation with Das about that show. He’s convinced the writers are on some twisted shit and pull ideas out of crazy states of mind! He may be right, but there’s some deep thought there, too.
One episode hit me kinda hard and it’s an older one from the second season, first episode titled, “Be Right Back.” Per Wikipedia here’s the summary:
Ash lives with his girlfriend Martha, spending a lot of time on social media, until one day he dies in a traffic accident. A few days later, Martha finds out that she is pregnant and decides to use a new technology that is able to simulate Ash’s voice and personality on the phone, based on his social media profile and other audiovisual material. This service helps her overcome her despair, until one day she accidentally drops her phone and panics. The artificial Ash tells her of the service’s experimental stage, in which she agrees to have the replica transferred into a synthetic body, almost identical to Ash. However, Martha realizes that the android is not able to replicate the small details in her loved one’s behavior and starts distancing herself from it. Finally, Martha takes the artificial Ash to a cliff and orders it to jump off. As it begins to follow the order, Martha expresses her frustration that Ash would not have simply obeyed. As a response, the android starts begging for its life. Unable to get rid of it, she ends up keeping the android in the attic, where a few years later her little daughter visits it every weekend.
As I was watching the show I could relate to Martha in so many ways and it baffled me. My first reaction was being appalled at the idea of “recreating a live doll” of your own late husband. It’s a notion I’d reject even now … but watching her give in to the idea and understanding her reasons behind it made me realize how desperate grief can make us feel.
It made me realize that this feeling – of wanting to do anything that’s remotely possible for that one more moment is normal. The feeling that if it WAS actually possible and hiding it from everyone else seems reasonable. The feeling of wanting to conquer despair, the loss of someone so special along with loneliness is just natural.
Would I do it? Would I have pulled what Martha had pulled?
Would I have ended up resenting my decision?
It wouldn’t be the real T-Mitch. It would have been a fake – a wannabe and no, it wouldn’t have been right.
Would I have confined this fake T-Mitch into an attic for the rest of his existence?
No. I don’t think there’s any real way to hide something like that – even though I understand why Martha chose to take that route. I think she dealt with it the wrong way in the end.
I would have shared what I chose to do with people and would have ended up saying, “Yeah, he’s a fake, but it’s the closest thing we have around so fuck it.”
Like Martha, I would have regretted it. As much as I’d like to have him back right now, I have to let him rest. It would be too selfish even if it were possible and this reality sucks. Every morning I wake up hoping I had been living a long, cruel nightmare… hoping this reality was all a bad dream.
It’s not. This is the hardest part of the day …. the second hardest part is finding the ability to go to bed alone.
On the binge-watching note (see how I switched gears?) … I saw on one of my online therapy groups that Ricky Gervais’ show, “After Life” is a pretty a big hit in the widow community. I started it this evening and it’s been really good! Yes, there are so many trigger points and I shed plenty of tears, but it’s been worth it. I’ve always loved Ricky’s work and I have even more respect for him now.
In a British accent: “Well good night then, yeah?”