Friday, May 08, 2009

after life

Almost ten years ago I watched the beautiful Japanese film After Life, and it enchanted me and sparked my imagination so much that I have carried it around with me in my heart ever since. The film is based on interviews with more than 500 people about the one memory they would choose to take with them to heaven. In it, people who have recently died are told that they are to look back at their life and choose only one memory that they can to take along with them into eternity. The process compels people to look back at their lives in its entirety and realise what was truly important.

Ever since I have carried this notion around with me. I would be living my life and suddenly think "Is this it? is this the one time I would keep with me forever?" What memory would I ever take with me to the afterlife? How could I ever choose just one? Would anything ever be perfect enough to keep solely and for always? My thoughts would often turn to this film, how I was living my life, and my memories. And I never was satisfied with myself or able to choose.

But then my daughter Adelaide came to me and without a doubt, no hesitations or regrets, I have made my choice. And I am quite certain that this may never change.

What I want to keep with me for always, forever, and beyond, is simple: Cuddling then drifting off to sleep with my little daughter, her sweet breath gentle upon my cheek. I am already missing these times, and I know full well that they will not last forever.

Today I decided to try and capture this for myself to have for always. 

What would you choose?

together by you.

39 comments:

kangaroo said...

oh my goodness. what a beautiful, soul shaking post. perfect for a full moon. my boys, my boys...so many moments. thank you.

Dawn said...

you are so sweet.

for me, it would be the memories that i have with my mother.

thank you for this post.

Kyrie said...

this is beautiful and food for thought. the moments my little family spends loving each other- I will hold in my heart beyond time.

amanda said...

oh yes that memory is so sweet. I just put my daughter to bed myself so I know exactly what you mean.

Molly said...

this was, without a doubt, the most wonderful blog post i've read in a LONG time. I needed that tonight, Thank you, and Happy Mother's Day.

crit said...

this made me cry.

shelese said...

How beautiful. The most special moments all include my daughter. I love being with her when she experiences things for the first time. It helps me to recognize all of this world's smallest wonders. I'm going to have to go rent this movie :)

Geta Grama said...

You are so lucky to have Addie !
I must watch that movie , too.

marzipan79 said...

So lovely and a good reminder to slow down and capture those moments. What sweetness!

Anne D said...

Yes, yes, yes that is what I would choose too. I have two daughters and they are now 4 and 8 and already the snugling' is becoming less. But falling asleep together is the best thing EVER!!

I have to see that movie.

jomama said...

oh, thank you for this post! that is one of my all-time favorite movies too, it really changed me when i saw it.
and i think falling asleep next to my kids would be my moment to take with me into eternity as well. it's just so beautiful, peaceful, and, well, close.

Aya said...

"After Life" is one of my absolute favorite movies! I just saw his new movie, "Still Walking" at the San Francisco Film Festival a few days ago. I highly recommend it! Kore-eda was at the film to answer questions. He was a lovely humble man.

Shalini said...

Wow, what an absolutely moving post! You've made me think about what I would choose too. I love the sweetness and the emotions of the photographs.

Emma Bradshaw said...

so so beautiful and worthy of an eternal memory. I just love that you have been able to capture it on film too - precious times x

doubleindemnity said...

I loved After Life after seeing it in a film class. Eventually, I bought the DVD.

It really struck a cord in me because my grandmother had Alzheimer's. I wonder if she was already living out her favourite memories while alive.

It's nice to know there's other people out there moved by this film.

Stephanie said...

Oh! Such a beautiful post :) My girls are now 15, 12, 9 and 6 - the youngest weaned just 2 short years ago...and I still remember my first nursing moments of 15 years ago as if they happened yesterday- you will have the treasure of your memories of this special time to have and hold all of your days. My nursing memories are the ones I will take with me after life as well, and my girls say the same :) Enjoy!

Miss Fae said...

My former lover used to draw a bath for me when I came home from a hard day. She'd sit on the edge of the tub and talk to me, running her hand over my should. She put water on the stove to boil if the water heater wasn't up to snuff. She'd pour warm water into the bath, and tell me she loves me.

I'll never let that go

thereddeer said...

What a beautiful post, made me get a bit teary.

I would have to say my moment was the first moment when I held my baby girl in my arms - a moment of pure joy.

unha said...

seriously, you are so awesome.

christina said...

i am weeping right now.
you are a special soul my friend.
xo, c

leslie said...

such a gorgeous post. i'm in no way religious so have decided that when we die, we just get to relive the best, happiest moments of our lives, over and over. that way you won't have to choose just one. happy mother's day to you! xox

Kay said...

Wow...takes my breath away...

I struggle with an immune system disorder and find myself wishing time away for a time when things are better...trying to remember to find passion for today...thoughts like this are a driving force, thank you for sharing them.

lazywaves said...

this is a lovely post .. i must watch this film

Melissa de la Fuente said...

What an incredibly beautiful and moving post.....and I know exactly what you mean. I treasure those moments too and wouldn't trade them for anything. Now, I want to see that film as well. Thank you and happy mother's day.
xo
Melissa

Anonymous said...

this was beautiful. i recently had a baby boy who, sadly i lost but, having him regardless would be my memory even though it was a bit of happiness and sadness all together. thank you for writing this.

frecklewonder said...

thank you for reminding us all to slow down and take note. this moment that you've managed to capture and share with us all is just perfect. you inspire me, mama s.

now i'm going to thing long and hard about my own precious memory.

xo

pepper said...

that is beautiful. I'm going to look up that film now *sigh* thanks :)

Anonymous said...

I too have seen this movie several years ago. Thanks for mentioning it. It was really moving. So many good moments to pick from in life!

kickpleat said...

I loved that movie too and it's nice to have it roll around my mind once in awhile. I love that photo of you both. Sweetness.

molly said...

this was beautiful. thank you for bringing a little taste of peace and perspective to my day, today.

TrippleJN said...

A beautiful post. It makes me want to watch the movie.

In my pre-married life, my choice would have involved mother nature.

I'm not sure I could choose, but right now I'm sure it would involve my daughter and my husband.

I would give myself the permission to change my choice as I get older. There are simply too many good things that happen, which tells me that I am very fortunate.

amy said...

i love this. i think i would choose something with my mom. though i'm not sure which one. your Addie is so beautiful.

Carla said...

You are so right in how sweet and tender the drifting to sleep moments are. You've inspired me to try and capture them =) And to look for this film.

Making of a Montessori Mum said...

I have tears in my eyes. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful posts...about an extraordinarily beautiful memory and experience. Yes, this is mine too. My face on hers, breathing each others breath, her sweaty hair sticking to my face, the smell...the sense of eternity.

thank you for a truly beautiful blog. I love visiting here. I need to come more often. (:

eM said...

I would choose waking up to my husband kissing me awake, looking at me in the eyes and telling me he loves me. This happens most days, and I treasure it every time

Cassie said...

So true. Never before my son's birth did I ever imagine loving anyone so much. Laying around has never been so meaningful.

Suzy said...

I love After Life too. I saw it on tv here years ago, and it stayed with me for so long - I finally bought a copy on DVD when I was in Japan.

My moment would be curled up in the chair in my son's room, reading him stories before bedtime and smelling his sweet just-washed toddler hair.

melissa said...

ahh, sharilyn,
thank you for writing this very special piece. i think both you and adelaide are very lucky!
xx.

Emily said...

We saw the same film, my husband and I, and often will think, is this our moment to remember for eternity. I'm so glad others feel the same~