Thursday, 20 August 2009

On death and dying (iii)

I did say I would review My Sister's Keeper (especially I think for you Vicky!).
I dislike the novels of Jodi Picoult the more I read them, sentimental and mawkish and not very complex.
Now, one thing I know about death is that it is complex. And this may seem trite, but it is also important.
My Facebook review is here (I think if you click it it shoudl take you to my Flixtster page, but this may only work if you are on Facebook)
The plot has been modified so it is a bit better than the book, and the acting is great.
The basic tenet of the plot is a girl dying of cancer has a sister who was probably conceived so that there might be " compatible genetic material" . Anyway at age twelve, or so, that child petitions the court (it could only happen in America) to prevent her parents using her body any more.
It is a good twisty plot.
The question that might well be asked is do parents have the right to continue to save their children when their children have had enough!! Ms C Diaz is forceful as the mother, and leaves you without a doubt that parents will, can and should prevail. But fails to see that this is not onlky killing her daughter(s) but also her family. (Not too subtle...but a not unimportant point about what can happen during grieving)
In the midst of this a dying person has had enough.
It's worth a look.

One thing I know after 30 odd years of helping people with death, is that most people chew it up. And come out of the experience of grieving, as difficult as it is for anyone, better people.
We were warned in our early training that some people who "get stuck" need help...and that's true. But most people don't get stuck and can process it.
The worst thing, it seems to me, that you can do is to refuse to engage with it.
This is probably because death and grief are likely to be the most authentic experiences we will ever have.

In the midst of this my brother-in-law's Mama, Teresa, (who has been declining for some weeks now) died last night. She made the tenderest calamari in the world!

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