Apocalypse Now

In my Government and Economics class, we are watching a film called Apocalypse Now. We’ve been watching bits and pieces of it over the past several weeks, and have almost finished the film. Today, we watched another segment of it, and today I wept because of it.

The scene of the film we watched today showed the climax of the film. Before we saw the climax, our teacher stopped the film for a moment to explain a bit of the scene to us. The movie was filmed in the Philippines, the country of my mother’s birth, and the director, Francis Ford Coppola, couldn’t find a suitable ending for the film. Coppola’s wife was watching a Philippine Tribe’s ceremony which involved the killing of a Water Buffalo, and invited Coppola to watch it with her. Coppola decided to film the ceremony, and used it during the climatic scene of the film. Our teacher explained in much better detail, but I’m afraid that I cannot recall it all.

While we watched the scene, we got to witness the ceremony, and while I watched, something caught my eye. I do not know if it would have caught my eye if our teacher had not told us that the film was made in the Philippines. It may have, it may not have, it does not matter because it did regardless. While the screen was panning some of the villagers, I saw a female villager. In her face, I saw my mother, and at that moment, I slowly began to weep. As I wept, I could not watch the film any more, so I simply looked down and wept into my hands. The scene only lasted for a few minutes, but I seemed to have cried for hours. After my teacher cut off the film, I wiped the tears from my eyes, and we shared current or personal events as is part of the class. When it reached my turn, I had a personal event. I simply said “I cried” and shakily explained why. I do not remember what I said, nor do I really need to as I have explained it above.

I once read a story, I do not remember if it was a book, poem, comic, or something else, but I do remember one part of it, a part that I very much agree with, a part that I was reminded of today. It said that losing a loved one is like having a cannonball blown through your chest that heals from the outside in. The simplest things can reopen the wound, and it will be reopened again and again. It could tear open from simply seeing a facial expression, hearing a certain song, seeing a beloved place, or even just feeling the wind blow the wrong way. Each time it tears, it hurts to an unimaginable extent, and each time it tears, it begins to heal anew. After time passes, the wound is harder to tear, but it will always tear, and always heal. You never “get over” death, you just learn to live with the pain it gives.

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