These words were written sometime in the Spring.
Alan Rickman died a month and a half ago. Today was the first time I could bring myself to watch a movie that he starred in. It was an accident, really.
A Little Chaos is one of my favorites. It’s a period film, of course; a story of love and flowers with a soundtrack too beautiful for words. About thirty seconds after I pressed play, I remembered that Alan Rickman is in the movie. And that he directed it. And so I paused it. Because I had a decision to make: was I ready to cry about this man’s death?
Before I could answer, there was a ball in my throat and tears in my eyes and a million thoughts in my brain. This is the summation of those thoughts.
I never met Alan Rickman. He became a friend through the TV screen, walking the halls of Hogwarts and allowing his booming voice to change the way a movie runs. He was a constant of sorts, a comfort to me when I didn’t know I needed him. He was always there, in a weird way. I never missed him, but I always smiled when I saw him on the screen. And when he died, it hurt like I knew him. I avoided videos and articles and picture of him because I didn’t want to cry. I didn’t want to face the fact that he is dead. I didn’t want to feel what I (for some reason) knew I would feel when I allowed my heart to process the fact that A Little Chaos is, though not the last movie he starred in, it is the last movie he was in that I will ever love.
Why wouldn’t I allow myself to feel those things? Why do I run from feelings—from tears?
The soundtrack from A Little Chaos is filling the air. And there are tears in my eyes. And I’m not running from them. But I don’t like them.
The tears retracted themselves. My tear ducts are like well-trained dogs that know that they are not allowed to bark. They have been taught not to show themselves—and I don’t know how to let them forget. I don’t know how to teach them, or myself as a whole, that it is okay to cry, to feel, to be exactly who I need to be without consequence.
I run from my past for the same reason that I ran away from Alan Rickman movies for so long. I don’t want to process the pain—let alone feel it. But the weight of my decision to avoid my past is far heavier than my decision to avoid Alan Rickman.
I have seen, heard, felt, and said things that I cannot remember. We all have. But these things, for me at least, these memories that I refuse to dig up or pay attention to, are keeping me from being whole or healed. My healing lies at the end of the stories I refuse to tell and everything inside of me tells me that it will always be that way.
Homegirl is, though she won’t show it, tired of my stubborness. Unlike me, she’s fed up with my comfort in the place where lies are my home. She continuously tells me that I need to listen to my past—to find the stories that live in my brain. But I don’t know how to. I don’t know how to push past these solid walls I have built around my heart. Jesus, help me.
I am praying for tears. And memories. And timing.
I would be lying if I said I am not afraid. The few shards of memories that I do have aren’t pretty; they’re messy and full and harsh. Those stories aren’t the things you wish to remember about your childhood, which is why I haven’t. But the time is coming.
Like Jesus, I have prayed that this cup be taken away. I have prayed and wished and wondered what I would be like without the scars on my soul or the weight in my heart—but I will never know. And because my Creator is who He says He is, I will be okay with this cup. His will is going to be done and it will be good, even if it hurts.
This has nothing to do with Alan Rickman, I guess. He is wonderful, but the tears that his face beckons are nothing compared to what these stories will bring. Yet, I am thankful that Jesus chose Him to bring me to a place of exhaustion with my comfort. He used Professor Snape; well in this case he was Louis XIV, to show me that I am not finished. My Maker, the one who made the oceans what they are, will put water in my eyes as well. He will, like the Tower of Babel, crush the walls around my heart. He will heal me. He will lead me to a place where I welcome the tears over Alan Rickman and over myself.
I think I am ready.