I just finished watching From Scratch on Netflix and I am…wrecked. And I need to write about it for a minute.
I have been drawn to tv shows, movies, books, and songs about death and loss since Boris died. They have been like a balm for me. But, more recently I have been watching more upbeat or lighthearted shows and movies.
I read Tembi’s book From Scratch a couple of years ago and loved it…I remember it being such a beautiful story and so well-written. I was so excited to learn that it was going to become a show, but I had no idea how wonderful it was going to be and how much it was going to impact me. I have been thinking about why it affected me so much…and I think some of the reasons are obvious but others are more complicated.
I was immediately transported to those early hours, days, and weeks of grief–the rawness and emotion…feeling nauseated and those permanently puffy eyes. The acting is phenomenal. I was sobbing. Not crying, but SOBBING, through so many of the scenes. And partly it was because I knew that feeling. I have felt it. And then I connected with the cross-cultural experiences of their families because Boris was Chinese American. The way his family handled death and grief looked very different than my family. And I took some of Boris’s ashes to Hong Kong, similar to her journey to Sicily. Those scenes were so moving, and somewhat difficult for me.
I think part of my complicated emotions toward it was a little bit of jealousy of their love story, jealousy that they were married and had a child, and jealousy that she was able to say goodbye. And I hate that I feel these things because her story, just like so many widows, is tragic and terrible and sad just like mine. She lost her husband! But, I found myself wishing, as I often do, that Boris and I had wedding memories or we had just gotten a little further into our love story to build more of a life together. I wish we had more that tied us together. I found myself wanting what she had. And that is a weird feeling, and one I have written about before. I feel guilty and ashamed for even thinking it, but I know that I am not alone. It is a weird feeling.
If you are reading this and you haven’t watched From Scratch or read the book, I highly recommend both. It is a beautiful story that we all can relate to. I have not been so impacted by a show or movie in so long…I am so appreciative of Tembi and everyone involved in bringing this story to us. I mean, I miss Saro (Lino in the show) and I never even met him. I feel like I know Tembi and I have never met her! But those of us who have known this great loss of our partner…we just will always have that connection no matter how different our stories are, I think.