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My second child and our first daughter, Camille, died and was born on June, 30 2011 when I was full term at 38 weeks pregnant. I gave birth to my rainbow baby, a second daughter, on August 31, 2012. This is me trying to figure out how to be a mother to my living son and daughter and function in society after our tragic loss.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Dog Movie

My husband is the vice pricipal of an elementary school. He sometimes brings home movies the librarian has set aside and thinks Kai may like. The other day I saw the movie he brought home. I start laughing and totally making fun of it. There is a Big O cheesey grinning mug of Richard Gere and a fluffy dog on the front. I was thinking...Oh brother a dog movie that I am sure is just filled with horrid cliches of joy about as fluffy as the dog. The movie is called Hachi a dogs tale. It is based on a true story of Hachiko a dog who lived in Japan.

What I didn't know is that this movie is about grief. I should also tell you that I totally cried watching this movie. R.G. finds the dog at the train station as a puppy and they fall mad passionately in dog love and are BFFs. You kind of watch them grow together in fast motion. The dog walks R.G. to the train station each morning and than at the end of the day goes and waits for him to get off the train. It really is very sweet what an amazing connection the two share. I am not ruining the movie by telling you that Richard Gere dies. He is a professor and has a heart attack while at school. Hachi goes to the train station to wait for his dad who never gets off the train. It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch as the dog just doesn't understand. All the locals tell Hachi that he can go home. The wife moves and R.G's daughter tries to take Hachi to her home but he runs away. The dog goes to the station EVERY DAY to wait for his dad. He goes to the station everyday for 10 YEARS waiting for him to come home. The dog can not get over the loss of his father.

I was sitting there on the couch crying because in some ways I feel like Hachi, I will mourn everyday for the rest of my days. I stand vigil for my daughter, the one who will never come home. I wait paitiently in my heart for Camille, but she isn't getting off the train. Everyone says to go home, she's not coming, but people don't understand that we keen over the grave of our children. We stand vigil for them in our hearts, we remember when everyone else has moved on. The world keeps going. Although I eat and sleep and have a life, somehow everyday I end up back at that trainstation.

That is how a dog movie mucked up a perfectly good evening. I see the world through a lens of grief...When I hear quotes, poems, philosophies, stories...I hear them with ears and process them with thoughts that have been changed forever by grief.

How about you?


  1. Oh MERCY I actually heard that movie is quite good, but I knew the basic plotline and knew that there is no way I could watch it without sobbing my eyes out. Dog stories always get to me anyway (I woke David up with my sobbing after finishing Marley & Me).

    The dog's grief is sad, but his love is beautiful.

    And I do get what you're saying about a lens of grief... I think I respond to many situations differently because of Eliza

  2. Oh my goodness...between your books, movies, and songs...I honestly don't know how you do it. I have put a permanent hold on all stuff overly sad. I can't handle it. I watched The Odd Life of Timothy Green and despite knowing how the movie was going to end I was a mess. Kept thinking about how horrible to get to know and love this boy only to have him be forever gone...sounds vaguely familiar :(

    Totally agree with the lens of grief...it is wide and covers everything that comes my way...definitely forever changed by grief.

  3. Remember being in high school and thinking every song sounded like it spoke right to you? When you broke up with your super lame boyfriend? (Okay, maybe it's just me)

    I somehow find a way to connect all sentimental words, thoughts, stories, movies, songs to grief. It's like they heard my son died and wrote their words for me. It's not true, but man does it feel like it.

    I can't watch that movie. I was nearly a mess reading this. Goodness. You're so right about standing vigil. Everyday I think of Andrew. Everyday I wish he were here. Every single day.

  4. Yes, yes, and yes.

    Our longing for them is just as present as our love.

  5. Me. Too.
    We watched Babe in the city. Cute tail about a pig and his owners. To whom every damn thing that could possible go wrong happens for no good reason. They are sweet, kind, hardworking, loving people and the world is crushing their very souls just because it can.
    Of course they persevere and it all works out, but this doesn't matter to over emotional crying Amelia who is busy having her heart broken by the look on the wife's face at the airport when the shit really starts hitting the fan, because she is absolutely blindsided by all of it.
    My poor G. What is she going to do with me?

  6. Ugh. I know this feeling ALL so well. There's this episode of Futurama that gets rerun a LOT because it's one of the best episodes they ever made. It's called Jurassic Bark, and it's almost the same exact plotline--The show's main character, Fry, has a dog, Seymour, and one night, Fry accidentally gets frozen in a cryogenic chamber--never to be seen again. But his dog waits for him at his job at the pizza parlor--Forever. Connie Francis' I'll Wait For You plays...and it literally brings me to tears every single time I watch it. And now, it has a whole new meaning.


  7. I'm in tears just reading this let alone watching the movie! I'm with you, and Hachi, just waiting for someone that will never come home... Forever is along time to wait... Ah, it sucks!!!!!

  8. Wow...just reading this chokes me up. Yes we will always stand vigil. The rest of the world can go on, but we just can't. My heart is hurting extra this month. It amazes that there are so many layers to grief. Ugh this life of grief :(

  9. What a great analogy...the world has moved on but our hearts keep going to that train station.

  10. Oh, Renel. I totally get this. I was just talking to my husband about my experience of loss and my grief, and how it has impacted me on such an animal level. My human brain understands what happened - the science of why Nathaniel died. But there's something else inside of me that rails against the loss. That only knows that I had a baby inside of me and then he was outside of me and in my arms and then he was gone. My brain can tell my animal self the story of what happened, but that does not ease the brain stem anxiety of missing offspring.

    Does this vigil ever shift? Relax? Accept?


I would love to hear what is on your mind