Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last Words

Monday night I watched another touching episode of How I Met Your Mother. A couple weeks ago I wrote about the previous episode, in which Marshall's father passed away. Being someone who's lost a parent, TV shows and movies that deal with this kind of situation tend to have an effect on me. There was a part of me that didn't want to watch this episode, simply because I knew it would be dealing with the aftermath of this character's death. I'm never sure what emotional state I'll be in after seeing something like that. But I watched. And I promise, I won't be writing posts about every new episode of How I Met Your Mother. I won't turn into that guy.

The title of the episode was "Last Words," and centered around Marshall's father's funeral. At one point, the minister sat down with the family and asked about Mr. Eriksen's last words to each of them. All of Marshall's family had different touching moments, while Marshall's final memory was of his father telling him to rent Crocodile Dundee 3. Not exactly a sentimental moment. We find out that everyone in the group had recent memories of conversations with their fathers, and none of the last words were exactly stellar.

I couldn't help but think back to the night my own father died. The last conversation I had with him was on the phone. It wasn't a special phone call. There was no indication that it would be the last time I ever spoke with him. But the reason behind the call was incredibly indicative of the kind of man he was. Mom had had some outpatient surgery a few days before. He was just calling to remind me that I should give her a call, just to check up on her. Like I said, it wasn't a deep or meaningful call. But the last conversation I had with my Dad was about him thinking of the needs of someone else. That's a quality that I'll always remember in my father, and a quality that I wish I had more of myself.

Life is unpredictable. So is death. We never know when our last moments are going to be. It's important that the people around us know how we really feel about them. But should we place so much importance on final words? If I'm on the phone with my Mom while I'm driving and someone slams into me in an intersection (and lets assume that my talking on the phone has not inhibited my ability to drive and I had the right of way), my final words aren't going to be "I love you," as the car smashes into me. I can assume what my final words would actually be, but I really shouldn't type them here. Trying to keep these things as family friendly as possible.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here. I really don't think "last words" are all that important. But I guess we really don't want to end conversations in regret either. And that's... one to grow on.

1 comment:

  1. My mother was unconscious for at least a month before she passed, so I have no idea what our last words were. My brother, however....My mother and I had gone to visit him, and they got into a huge fight. As she stormed off to the car, he gave me a big hug, and said that he loved me and that his argument with Mom had nothing to do with me. He died unexpectedly about ten days later. Mom seriously regretted that their last words were in anger, and I was very grateful that I got that chance for one last hug and "I love you." To this day, even if I'm arguing with my family (which happens often, lol), I always make sure that my last words before hanging up are still, "I love you." I wouldn't mind if my last words with someone were just a Marshall situation, as long as it's not a repeat of my mom's. [/melancholy]