The finale of Lost made me think of people no longer in my life.
There was a lot of loss in the six years of Lost, but the show never inspired me to think about the loss in my life until that finale, which, in a way, is about the stages of death. Which is one kind of loss. Loss of a friend who died too young, my friend Mike Pearl. Loss of a potential relationship, because I was a dumbass who never asked out maybe the most appealing young woman I met in my three years in Hermiston, Oregon. Loss for the chance of a different, closer relationship with someone...a different kind of loss, one mitigated by a still-there friendship (in the specific case that I'm not going to describe in detail), but yeah, the what-might-have-beens were in my head at times.
A very personal response to a show I'd never seen at all before last November, but which got me wrapped up in it very thoroughly very quickly. With all of Lost's plot ridiculousness and messiness -- which I could handle, I can deal with messy storytelling and messy endings, I'm a Stephen King fan -- a huge amount of its impact came from seeing character after character deal with loss. You cared about the loss that at least most of them dealt with. Unless you disliked the character, which often happened with such a large cast, and even then I hope there was a twinge of empathy. Lost portrayed a spectrum of people in extreme, sometimes terrible situations, and many of them were hurt by what occurred. As we would be. At times the plot mechanics got in the way of the genuine reaction -- would Shannon in Season 1 really stay that obstinate and self-centered that long if the plot hadn't required her to? -- but plenty of times it didn't. The reactions were allowed to happen. Like after what happened to the sub a few episodes ago.
Funerals invite you, or force you, to think about loss. There's a spectrum of responses there. Usually from a spectrum of people. (Sometimes many people. A high school friend of mine named Jen died in 1993, when I was still across the country wrapping up my first year of college. I learned later that over 600 people attended her funeral.) Whatever happens after one's death, and I'm not going to go there in this entry, a death, shall we say blandly, changes the relationship. You have to change it. Part of the relationship is no longer there in person, to put it awkwardly. But the relationship is still there. I think about Mike Pearl sometimes. Same with Jen. Same with others. And this pulpy, science fiction-y, often maddening, often beautifully strange show ended in a way that made me think of them again.
Thank you for doing that, show.
I'll write later about my actual Sunday night at the Bagdad. It was a neat night, one I want to describe in detail. Maybe review the show further; it certainly gave fans plenty to think about. But I wanted to be philosophical here. And not just in a "What Would John Locke Do?" way. (Heh. Actual T-shirt that I saw there.)