Finally the tears have come…

I went to see the film: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING this afternoon and thank goodness I decided to go by myself. Who knew that I would be so affected by this story (although in hindsight I guess it might be obvious)? The film is the story of Stephen Hawking–the brilliant scientist who developed ALS (Lou Gehrig disease) early in life–and his incredible wife, Jane. There were so many moments that touched me and reminded me of the years that L was ill and all that he was forced to abandon as his health worsened. The scenes of Jane’s exhaustion and struggles to keep the fight going brought back painful memories of those times when I faltered and just wanted our life back to the way it had been. Hawking’s humor was SO reminiscent of L’s–the one thing everyone mentions when they speak of L is his laugh and how it lit up a room.

There were so many lines in the script that touched me in places both painful and sweet. One of those lines is delivered by a man who comes into their lives having suffered the death of his wife…the line is something about “the tyranny of the empty room.” Is that not IT? The loneliness that waits just behind the door no matter how busy you are?

I have mentioned to some of you that I don’t feel I have cried enough. I have long felt that my true feelings about L’s last days and his death have been walled up behind a dam that seemed to hold. Well, this afternoon that dam cracked and it was a moment that I recognized immediately as not only healthy but absolutely necessary.  And so I cried and cried and cried–so much so that as the lights came up I found it necessary to allow the entire rest of the audience to leave (under the pretense of watching the credits) before I could trust myself to stand up and leave. I know that this is a key step forward and the fact that it has come two and a half years after his death is neither here nor there–the point is the dam will not hold forever. And in the flood of those pent-up emotions comes spilling forth the anger and the regret and the fear of not having done enough–of not having taken full advantage of the time we had. But hindsight is, of course, twenty/twenty and as I cull through the memories of our years together this I know for sure (as Oprah would say): I loved and was loved in return and it is that shared love that no dam can hold and no death can silence.

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2 thoughts on “Finally the tears have come…

  1. Oddly enough I have just returned from the cinema having seen ‘The Theory of Everything’ and was also struck by the phrase” … the tyranny of the empty room” and determined that I should write something containing it.

    When your heart stops and you do not die
    When the tears flow, but you cannot cry
    The world about you seems to fall apart
    The only sound is the beat of your heart
    There is no tomorrow, but only today
    Because the love of your life has gone away
    An avalanche of memories fills the mind
    Of a life so precious left behind
    Bur remember always a brighter side
    When laughter and tears seemed to coincide
    Treasure your memories and never assume
    As you face the tyranny of the empty room
    That life has no meaning, that’s simply not so
    Cry yourself happy and just let yourself go
    Put a smile on your face and as silly as it may seem
    Relive your yesterdays… and keep alive the dream

    Not as good as the film … but I couldn’t miss the opportunity.My apologies if you find it inappropriate.

    Patrick John

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