I can’t believe he’s gone. The first time I really experienced anyone dying in my life was my maternal grandfather when I was eight. I remember not knowing how to feel, other than shocked. I mean it would have been shocking to hear he would be leaving us to go somewhere and that I wouldn’t see him for 20 years. Or that he would be bedridden and only able to see me for five minutes every five years. But death means I won’t see him anymore. At all.
Death is so difficult. Even though it can be far less painful (even pain free) than most physical diseases or disorders, it shocks us and saddens us so much more than those because of its dreadful finality. Just a little over two years ago it was my paternal grandfather who passed away, and I’ve had my share of losses in the 34 years in between. One of the most significant was a baby I fathered but didn’t get the chance to meet in person. The pain of that loss is as piercing now as it was when it happened. Death is unfair. I mean, it happens to all of us, but it’s still unfair because it just doesn’t seem right to lose someone you love.
I remember going to a wake where one of the deceased’s family members was there to greet us. They immediately started saying things to us indicating that this was a good thing. She was now in heaven with no more pain. I hated that. Yes she is not in pain anymore, and for that I am grateful. And yes heaven is a great place to be, and I’m glad she’s there. But it still sucks that she’s gone. Even in her pain, life was better with her in the world.
I won’t comment on death’s relationship to our movie this week (not wanting to spoil), but it’s a perfect dedication to the memory of the greatest boxer who ever lived. We will never get him back. Nor my grandfathers. Nor my child. But their lives were important and our lives would have been incomplete without them.
Here’s to you Ali, and to all those who have touched all of our lives.
People don’t realize what they had till it’s gone. Like President Kennedy, there was no one like him, the Beatles, and my man Elvis Presley. I was the Elvis of boxing. — Muhammed Ali
Congratulations Million Dollar Baby. This is your week.
And the Oscar goes to…
Best Actor: Seems too obvious to give it to De Niro for his role as Jake La Motta in Raging Bull. Plus, I’m still amazed at Christian Bale’s performance in The Fighter. So this week it’s his.
Best Quote: “Girlie, tough ain’t enough.” — Clint Eastwood as Frankie Dunn in Million Dollar Baby.
If I could see my baby right now, I think I would tell him/her that they are “Mo chuisle.”
Movie of the Week