这让我想起不久前让我泪撒戏院的 Departures 《收殓师》 的情节。发觉它之所以会感动那么多人而被感动的人们都有一个共同点，那就是经历或面对过死亡洗礼。所以它可以触动彼此心中的那根炫让彼此产生共鸣。
My wife and I don't watch movies often, and not very often will I cry in a movie. But last night, we cried (a lot) when we were watching 'Departures' ('Okuribito').
After the Oscars, and after reading the rave reviews and the synopsis, we watched it, despite knowing roughly what to expect; skeptic at the predictable plot - guy loses job, found a new passion in another, how good can it get? But little did we know that in the end, the movie held such great significance for both of us. Like many people (and maybe not)in the cinema, both my wife and I cried during the movie, a lot, for reasons only we know.
The story was basically about death and funeral; about this out-of-job cellist, who in turn fallen in love with his new job in 'Encoffination'. Somehow yet for sure, 'Departures' reminded me of my father-in-law, my wife's dearest father, who had passed away. Though we never really talked about it during the movie, I had strong sentiment that my wife felt the same. Even before nearing the end of the movie, we almost can predict that the lead actor's role as an 'Encoffineer' had to deal with the death of his father in the end (sorry to be a spoiler to those who has yet to watch it). Then suddenly I missed my father-in-law a lot. Surely my wife as well, would miss her dad dearly.
In the movie, it talked about fate and how everyone had to deal with life and death among their dearest, somehow, sometime. And yet somehow my father-in-law decided to leave us, just one day before our wedding.
6 December 2008, Saturday (one day left to the big day of my wife and I). It was 2 am in the morning and I reached home tired but excited about the final edit of the wedding video my very good friend helped to put together. From nowhere, i picked up extra energy to finish up the remaining things to be done for the wedding, the last one was framing the wedding photograph. Knowing the importance of it, i handled it with great care but end up damaging the mounting board meant for lining the frame. I panicked but I thought it could be savaged by utilizing the other side of the board, the same thing happened. I curse to myself. 'When you are unlucky, whatever can happen, will happen'. Believed it or not, deep inside, I already had some strange mixed feelings, some sort of a bad omen. I went to bed awake, knowing I could not possibly buy another white mounting board at 3 am. Then at 4 am, my wife's phone sounded, the bad news came and her cries followed.
When my father-in-law fell like almost 4 years ago, many illness and problems followed, he suffered some leg problems, followed by Colon problems, had several operations and a few stroke that lasted 2 years. Back last year, we were mentally prepared, we knew he would not be fit enough to travel down from Malaysia for the wedding. We just hoped he could wait, however he could not. We were so not prepared for such thing to happen just one day before the wedding.
We were closed to calling off the wedding but we eventually went ahead with it, my mother-in-law wanted that. Nobody was happy. Half of my wife's family was absent on the wedding day, even my mother-in-law as she and some of my wife's siblings had to tend to the funeral while some others came for the wedding. To top it all, little did my wife and I know, that we were not allowed to attend the funeral after the wedding at all (I have no qualms saying this here; during that time one colleague told us that our compassionate leaves were only valid if we had attended the funeral. Was that really important? Who would not want to attend their the funeral of their own father? What was the management thinking?). The older generations Chinese were more traditional and well, superstitious, that we must not mixed wedding and funeral together, therefore...
That was the biggest regret both my wife and I had; unable to attend the funeral, unable to send him off personally. 'If only if we had called off the wedding, and we would be able to send him off...' my wife thought. My devastated wife shut herself in, not seeing anyone, cried herself to sleep. Worrying, but I could only stay by her side all the time.
A few months passed, and came this movie 'Departures', where the both of us were not just touched by it, but felt truly connected to it; a cremation scene in the movie had led us into almost imagining the funeral we did not attend, how he could have been cremated, it all seemed so real as though we were really witnessing the actual cremation process (of my father-in-law). Was it only till now that we realized that he was really gone? Could be. Whatever the case was, what was left were my wife's fond memories of her dearest father and my memories of someone who was like my own father for the last 4-5 years. Somehow I thought we (or maybe just me) had really bid farewell to him, finally.
We had a good cry and we truly enjoyed this movie. For sure, it would be one of our favorite movies, but for once, very different reasons why we love it so much.
And lastly, to my father-in-law (something which I never got the chance to say to him in personal), thank you for letting me marry your daughter.