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Monday, January 24, 2011

Rabbit Hole

Todd and I saw Rabbit Hole a couple of weeks ago staring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart and I'm still thinking about it. To me, that's what good movies do; make you think and stay you for days to follow.

I thought the performances were very good, but I disagree with all the buzz Kidman is getting for her role as a grieving mother. Of course, I didn't think Annette Bening deserved the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for The Kids Are All Right either, so what do I know?

At any rate, Rabbit Hole allows us a glimpse into one couples lives as they deal with the loss of their four year old son, who runs into the street after the family dog and is hit by a car.

The couple is grieving in their own way and at their own pace and it almost destroys their marriage.

Horrific to think about, but always up for a good mental exercise, Rabbit Hole prompted some interesting and insightful discussion for our car ride home, another sign of a good movie.

Could our marriage survive the loss of a child? Hard to say. We agreed that it would require the utmost patience and understanding that either of us could muster and that it would most definitely be the hardest thing that we would ever have to go through. A parent should never have to bury a child. Every time you looked at one another you would have a living reminder. It's a difficult scenario to imagine.

But that's not the part that has stuck with me.

There is moment when Becca (Kidman) finally lets go of some of her pent up emotional control, breaks down and asks her mother, Nat (played brilliantly by Dianne Weist), who has also suffered the loss of a child, about her pain and the weight of it. The dialogue is breathtaking and the message is

Becca: Does it ever go away?

Nat: No, I don't think it does. Not for me, it hasn't - has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.

Becca: How?

Nat: I don't know... the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and... carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you... you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and - there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be aweful - not all the time. It's kinda...

[deep breath]

Nat: not that you'd like it exactly, but it's what you've got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh... it doesn't go away. Which is...

Becca: Which is what?

Nat: Fine, actually.

I thought that this was such a beautiful way to describe grief and loss and where it goes after time. I am still learning to live with the passing of my parents. It's been almost three and a half years. I know I will remember these words from Rabbit Hole and I look forward to finding my "fine", my peace some day.

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Blogger Shelby said...

This was a very thought-provoking post Tonya. I hope you and Leah find that peace :)

January 24, 2011 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger KLZ said...

This is a tougher movie than I can watch but...that sounds like a very accurate depiction of grief.

January 24, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger From Tracie said...

Really a great description of grief.

I have to admit that I didn't see The Kids Are Allright...but I was confused when she won, because I thought it was a drama. Was I wrong about that?

January 24, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Hutch said...

I haven't seen Rabbit Hole and even as a non-parent I think it would be too much for me to sit through.

I do agree on Annette Bening though. We watched Kids are Alright last night and she didn't stand out to me. The kids were fantastic, Julianne Moore's little monologue at the end about marriage had me crying, and love Mark Ruffalo always. But I don't see any one character as a lead. The movie overall was just kind of meh for me.

January 24, 2011 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

I think I will not watch that movie. I almost cried just thinking about it.
But that description of grief? Was very likely the most perfect I've ever seen.

January 24, 2011 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Hope said...

I'm going to have to check the movie out!

January 24, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger gingerbreadmama said...

I am not sure I could watch that movie without being a complete blubbering wreck because I am not sure I want to live in a world without my children.

I hope every day brings you a little closer to your "fine".

January 24, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I saw the previews and decided that my grief is still too raw for a movie that hits close to home but thank you for sharing your thoughts on it and that dialogue. It is odd how you find comfort in carrying that brick when the weight of it is all you have left.

January 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Morgan B. said...

That is an excellent description of grief. I think you will find your "fine". ((hugs))

January 24, 2011 at 10:28 PM  

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