It's easy to self-project. How we think, how we feel, how we go about things, how we try and relate to others, it's easy to assume that everyone else should think and behave in the same way as we do. I'm guilty of this, no doubt you have been to at times. It's a constant struggle to overcome thinking in such a way, and to instead try and appreciate how someone else is, well, their own person. I think about these sometimes in the context of the relationship with my father.
It's a sad fact that our grief over someone's death is often more about ourselves than about the person who has died. True, we mourn the loss of a loved one, be they family or friend, and the despair is partly due to the actual person losing their life. But the gap left in our own lives by the loss is what really drives our desolation. It has often been noted that funerals are for the living, not for the dead.
I ruminated upon thoughts of life, death, sorrow and what we mourn for as I was watching the recent Downton Abbey Christmas special last night on PBS. Be warned that what comes next contains spoilers for that story, so, if you haven't yet watched it -- and plan on doing so -- you may want to stop reading now.
We were standing in the waiting line at a visitation a few weeks ago, my mom and I. It was for the mother of one of mom's old high school and college friends. There were a lot of people there, and the line was moving slowly. A middle-aged woman approached us, creating a moment of recognition for mom and her. After talking briefly, the woman walked off, and mom mentioned how she'd been a high school classmate. Mom also said, "She pretty much looks the same."
Now, I was a little thrown by my mom's remark about her old classmate. I could have pressed her about the comment, but didn't. The time and place seemed inappropriate. But I was curious. This woman, though she looked fairly innocuous and unassuming, by no means looked as though she'd just come out of high school. She looked, well, like a middle-aged woman. No harm in that, however, I wondered what mom had meant by how the woman pretty much looked the same. Was it just a turn-of-phrase?
It would seem to be a fundamental aspect of human nature that we do not communicate positive thoughts and emotions very easily, nor often. Anger? Yes. Frustration, annoyance, displeasure? Yes, yes, yes. Love? Um... not so much. Affection, appreciation? Ditto. Even in the absence of conveying negativity, we tend to let positivity fall to the wayside. Would you agree? Why is this, do you think?
Have you ever watched a movie? Silly question, of course you have. How about a romantic comedy? Once again, of course.... (even the straight men out there). If anything drives home the lack of clear, deep, open and honest communication in our society, it's a romantic comedy. People in such movies will make proclamations to one another about how they really feel. It's wonderful. It's touching. It makes you a little misty-eyed.
Our newest Pic of the Week is also one of the newest cast members of the hit British drama Downton Abbey. That's right -- Ed Speelers (better known as Jimmy, the object of many desires of them downstairs). Enjoy!