Hi, I’m Emily Rowe and I help people when they’re sad to feel better and start to feel alive again.
Today I want to review Ricky Gervais’s, his new series.
It’s out on Netflix called Afterlife. Now whether you like this or not is really going to be dependent on whether you like Ricky Gervais.
So if you can’t stomach is kind of humor or you find him really difficult, which a lot of people do, then it’s probably not for you.
But I found it to be incredibly insightful and hilarious.
Many, many moments, I caught myself really identifying with this overwhelming sadness and grief that he was portraying and also laughing my ass off at what a complete and utter bastard that he was being, because he’s a complete and utter bastard in it.
And I remember being a complete and utter bastard too after Matt died.
Life felt like such a banal exercise and the things that people would fill their days up with and the things that they talked about and the things that mattered to them just seems so trite and uninteresting.
And it took a lot for me to bite my tongue and not say what I was really feeling, but I certainly felt what I was feeling.
I kind of envied his character in this series because he did say all of the things that I wish I’d said, but I just didn’t feel was socially sanctioned.
And I’m not sure that they are socially sanctioned for anybody except Ricky Gervais in a story that he’s written himself.
There are a couple of moments in it that were really, really powerful for me. The first one was when he was describing his relationship with his wife.
I’ll set up … the premise is that he has lost his wife.
He’s probably in his mid forties, late forties in this.
And he’s lost his wife, who’s the same age to cancer, and he’s struggling to come to terms with her death.
And there’s one scene in it when he’s trying to describe his lack of ambition and its relationship to the relationship that he was in.
And he says to this person, he says, you know, I didn’t never did any after time and I didn’t work particularly hard.
I wasn’t very ambitious.
All I was looking forward to every day was finishing work and coming home and spending my time with Lisa and we would open a bottle of wine and sit on the couch, cooked dinner, watch TV or listen to music.
Just hang out with the dog.
And it was our own little party and it was the only place that I wanted to be.
And that really, really struck home for me.
I remember in the days after losing Matt that I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t have really much of a social circle at all.
That my life revolved very much around this relationship that I was in and around our little family.
And we were tight.
We spent all our time together, all of our inside jokes and our way of seeing and being in the world was just, it was just such a relief after so long that I think that we’d found each other and we understood the world through a similar way of being.
And then when I lost that that was really what brought up such incredible pain and grief for me.
Now, the whole premise of this is that he hasn’t decided whether he’s going to kill himself or not and he tries to kill himself.
But the only thing that’s stopping him is that the dog is hungry and it keeps looking at him.
And I do remember the darkness of that place as well.
The only thing that was stopping me from topping myself was that I had a responsibility to our daughter who I needed to care for.
And I simply couldn’t do that to her.
To lose both parents wouldn’t … she was suffering already so much having lost her dad. It would have been a very, very selfish and cruel thing to do.
But it didn’t mean that I really wanted to live either, so I couldn’t die.
And the other part of it too was that even though you know Matt was no longer around, in my mind’s eye, according to the ethics and understanding of the world that we shared, he would have been furious at me for giving up, for just throwing in the towel and saying that it was too hard.
Because it was, it was extremely hard.
I was just felt like I was walking through molasses, heavy, hot and molasses, trying to just get through every day and there was no respite.
There was no coming home and relaxing in my own private little party with this person.
It was just coming home and the fact that this person was absent, that they were gone.
Anyway, in the series, he does start to understand that as flawed and hopeless as everybody is around him, they are trying somehow to keep him alive.
No matter how irrational and crazy and badly behaved is being, these people do care for him in a really, really clumsy way. And he starts to understand that this is what matters.
He, he shares this beautiful interlude with another, with a widow, who is sitting on the bench at the cemetery who’s chatting to her late husband.
And she makes it really, really poignant observation.
She says, all we have is each other.
That’s all we’ve got.
In this time between being born and dying, that really is all we have.
Everything else doesn’t matter so much.
And I think that that’s a pretty astute observation and the people that don’t value relationship, that put everything else that seems to be more important to them than the way they connect and relate and care about other people, you need to be mindful of those people, because those people are not going to serve you well while you are suffering.
And they’re going to be the first to throw their hands up and expect all of the support in the world when they find themselves in a similar circumstance, because nobody escapes.
If you know how to love someone, even if it’s hard for a person to truly love, there are a lot of people that still going through their lives in this kind of dysfunctional codependency where they have to have that other person around for whatever reason, and that person is filling in the gaps.
And there might not be anything selfless about it and it might be incredibly selfish and their attitude in grief will be incredibly selfish as well.
So, there’s just a words up.
I wanted to talk about it.
If you’re hesitating about whether you should watch it or not, or how close it is to you or whether it’s uncomfortable and maybe not the right subject, matter for you to be looking at right now, I would recommend watching it because it’s a really good purge.
He’s saying all of the things that you might have wanted to say at the time, but you didn’t, you bit your tongue because you couldn’t.
So it’s kind of like a nice purge to hear it coming out of somebody.
Even though it’s not real, even though it’s fantasy, it’s also an incredible relief to see somebody acting out in such an extreme way.
So that’s it from me.
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