Your husband dies. Or your wife.
But to keep this simple, we’ll say your husband and you, the reader, can change it as needed, as you ponder the following situation…
Anyways, you deal with the death and grief as best you can, going on with your life…and 5 years later, when you think you’re okay, in whatever way that means to you, you see a man who is your husband’s doppelganger and you arrange to meet this person and knowingly (except not, really, because the whole widow thing is an ongoing clusterfuck) begin a relationship with him.
Every so often you call him by your husband’s name but it isn’t a huge deal, even though he corrects you. He has no idea he looks exactly like your dead husband. Your adult daughter freaks out when she meets him but you don’t explain why to him, other than the obvious idea of her being upset that you’re dating again. You take him to a vacation spot you visited with your husband. Indeed, it’s where your husband died. And this new man discovers exactly what’s going on.
That’s the plot line of the movie I just watched on netflix this evening. I found it accidentally. The title is The Face of Love, starring Annette Benning and Ed Harris.
Holy shit. That’s pretty much my review.
My stomach is still lurching after watching it. Lurching because I recognized myself in AB’s character, in her physical and emotional appearance. She has that edge to her, even 5 years later. That edge that says her soul is shattered, even as she engages with life and pretty much appears okay to the world at large. Something about her eyes, the way she carries herself, the energy around her..
She knows what she’s doing, as they go on dates, and kiss, and hit the sheets,even as she wonders what the hell she’s doing. There is an edge of desperation in her, wanting to believe her beloved husband has returned, even as she knows in her heart it isn’t her husband. But she needs him to be her husband, so she continues the relationship.
The movie made me think about my own reaction if such a thing happened. I desperately want Chuck back, but if I were to meet a man who looked and acted like him but wasn’t him…I don’t know if I could handle it, and it might just actually drive me over the edge insane, honestly.
I’ve read posts from widow/ers who have dreams of their special someone’s, and their reactions. For some it’s a comfort, for others it adds to the grief upon waking to the reality. I’ve never had dreams of Chuck so I truly don’t know what it would mean for me.
But this movie, this idea of meeting his doppleganger…a true twin in appearance and behavior…I don’t know. I wish him back with all that I am, and I could see myself wishing it so hard that I’d be willing to blind myself to the reality, but how long could that sustain itself? We all know the likelihood of such a circumstance happening in real life, but the movie poses an intriguing question, doesn’t it?
Amidst the missing-ness, the loneliness, the grief, the skin starvation…and all else that happens in this widowhood…if your special person seemingly appeared in your life again, even as you knew it wasn’t really him or her….what would you do?