Monday, January 7, 2008

Loss depicted on the big screen

"PS I Love You" hit me straight in the heart.

Overall I really enjoyed this movie. I won't spend time here discussing the theatrical value, nor the plot ... this post is really for people who have seen the movie - as in just a few short sentences I will be revealing some scenes that should be learned about in the context of the movie.

Remember the scene, (ok, here I go, spoiling the plot ... please don't continue reading unless you've seen the movie or you're ok with me spoiling it for you!) the scene where the three girlfriends are sitting on a rowboat in the middle of a lake in Ireland? They all have their parkas on, as they have fumbled their oars right into the water and are waiting (like damsels in distress!) to be rescued by the seemingly absent existence of people on the shores. ... in this scene the married girlfriend says "well I hope we get off this boat before nine months is up" (or something along those lines) and then she reveals that she's pregnant and didn't want to announce her news until after their big trip (as the focus of the trip was supposed to be on Hillary's healing, not celebrating a pregnancy) congratulations were shared ... then the single girlfriend (Phoebe from "Friends") announced that she hoped they were rescued by the new year as she was recently proposed to and would be getting married on New Years Eve. Then the two girlfriends who had just made these announcements look at Hillary Swank (the main character who is dealing with the all-too-early loss of 35 year young husband) who responds by saying something like "I’m happy for you both, I really am, it's just a lot of information to take in all at once on such a small boat” (or something cute and funny like that) as she's kind of smiling and kind of crying at the same time.

I just about couldn't breathe when this scene unfolded. I felt so bad for Hillary Swank's character. I knew that exact pain of being reminded that you're not in the same boat (no pun intended) with people who are experiencing normal, happy progress in life, as you're just wanting something so basic, desperately wanting your normal life back ... while simultaneously being truly happy for those that have what is normal, and right, and good (something you don't have).

The movie continued on to have a scene where Hillary overheard her two friends conversing (when they didn't know she was eavesdropping) discussing the excitement of their respective news (with topics like ultrasounds, due dates, bridesmaids dresses, florists, and the like) ... and Hillary just thought (or perhaps they did a voice over) about how her life has stopped while everyone else’s was still moving forward. She had lost her husband and her life seemed to stop: went on hold. This is exactly what miscarriages feel like (for those who have [thankfully] never experienced it)

This whole bit was just crushing ... I was sobbing. I didn't sob with the funeral scene, not while she flashbacked to scenes reminiscing her husband's prancing around their NY pad, not while she read the cheesy, sweet letters sent in foresight seemingly arriving from the grave: from her dead husband (ok, yes I did release a FEW tears) ... but man, when she was expressing how she feels like life is passing her by - I lost it. It wasn't so much the news of the friend's pregnancy that got me ... the fact that another person was dealing with hearing that someone's friend is pregnant and they are not is not the pain I was experiencing - it had more to do with identifying with the pain of feeling left behind.

A lot of times I feel like people don't "get" me in this whole struggle. My fertile friends have never experienced loss, much less compounded loss without having any live children. My infertile friends seem just as “behind” as I feel, but they are (usually) hiding behind my computer screen – not women I talk to IRL. How much can someone know you whose learned about pieces of you from disjoint topics on various threads on fertility message boards? (I’m not knocking it; I’m merely pointing out a fact) Even still I can’t completely relate to the ladies on those boards. I've been told by my Dr, since July, that I have diminished ovarian reserve and that news is pretty far down on the list as far as infertility ailments you'd choose to have if you had to choose one - as the battle is with time itself ... and there's nothing you can do to literally stop time. A lot of women on the infertility/fertility boards can relate to running out of time. There are some women who can relate to me - the older ladies can, but they are less welcoming of me because regardless of my diagnosis I'm still "young". In our fertility situation, I’m scared that I’m not only going to be temporarily left behind, but permanently left behind. I would love to play the scene for everyone I know - in hopes that they can "get" me a little more. Why is it that we so just want to be known? (topic for another post, I guess?)

So anyhow, I just wanted to say I feel like my life has done a freeze frame. I want to be moving on with my life ... it's just so hard. Loss is what I'm facing. Loss, in this movie, is what the main character is processing – hers in the form of the loss of her husband and the loss of their future together, mine in the form of the loss of my babies and the hopes that I had for these children. (And really she was probably mourning the loss of children with him too, but that still falls into the category of loss, right?) ... Loss has a way of wiping us out. I feel like my life is on hold and although I know I'm not ... I feel abandoned and alone … like she does, but not by my husband (not by any means by my wonderful husband!!) just alone I guess, alone without my babies.

... sorry this post is such a downer. This is exactly how God is working on my heart. Without recognizing this pain, how could I be so open to His hope? character adjustments? learning perseverance? ... truth is, I couldn't. So bear with me, bear with me while I drudge through the muck and mire.


  1. Amber, I saw the link to your blog from FF (I'm momMD) and am praying that this injects cycle was successful for you! It looks like we'll be on a similar IVF cycle if you do have to go that route, and I'll be following your progress. Best of luck to you! -Amy

  2. I haven't seen it, yet, but now I am intrigued. I'll get back with you when I do.


  3. Wow, sweety, i know exactly what you feel. Up until now, I hadn't found the words to express it and you hit the nail right on the head! It is a very lonely road we travel...I wish we were closer to get together, although our husbands are the most wonderful supportive people, it isn't the same to vent to my husband, at least for me. I'm so sorry you felt so down, and I pray you hold your healthy beautiful baby in 9 months!