Even if we know that the life that awaits a loved one when they pass from this plane of existence is a good one, death still remains difficult for the ones that are left behind. This seems to be the most difficult for a spouse who has lost their significant other. The premise behind the movie P.S. I Love You always felt so precious to me—that a spouse who knew he was going to die made sure to leave behind the tools that would help his significant other be able to live in this world without him despite the pain of separation—which is the reason why it’s featured in this edition of Maeve’s Monthly Movie Review. As Maeve mentions in her review below, there is something about this depth of attention given past death that rings true to the concept of marriage and life after death as I understand them.
P.S. I Love You — Life, Death, and Marriage
Starring Hilary Swank, Gerard Butler, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, James Marsters, Kathy Bates, Harry Connick Jr., Nellie McKay, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Synopsis (From IMDB):
Holly Kennedy is beautiful, smart and married to the love of her life – a passionate, funny, and impetuous Irishman named Gerry. So when Gerry’s life is taken by an illness, it takes the life out of Holly. The only one who can help her is the person who is no longer there. Nobody knows Holly better than Gerry. So it’s a good thing he planned ahead. Before he died, Gerry wrote Holly a series of letters that will guide her, not only through her grief, but in rediscovering herself. The first message arrives on Holly’s 30th birthday in the form of a cake, and to her utter shock, a tape recording from Gerry, who proceeds to tell her to get out and “celebrate herself”. In the weeks and months that follow, more letters from Gerry are delivered in surprising ways, each sending her on a new adventure and each signing off in the same way; P.S. I Love You. Holly’s mother and best friends begin to worry that Gerry’s letters are keeping Holly tied to the past, but in fact, each letter is pushing her further into a new future. With Gerry’s words as her guide, Holly embarks on a journey of rediscovery in a story about marriage, friendship and how a love so strong can turn the finality of death into a new beginning for life.
So often in film weddings we hear the lines echoed “until death do us part” but in both P.S. I Love You as well as in the Baha’i concept of marriage this is not the case. A true marriage is more than a physical union but is also a spiritual union. If a marriage is not a spiritual union then it is bound to end, which I discussed in my last post. But what if it is a true union? It lasts for eternity, beyond death.
In Holly and Gerry’s case he made sure to love her and guide her beyond death through preparation of recordings, letters, and gifts throughout Holly’s year of mourning. Throughout the film in the beginning Holly feels is presence as if he is still there, then gradually that fades to memories, until finally Gerry is no longer seen. This could be because Gerry’s soul must move on…
“Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God” ~ Bahá’u’lláh
However, how valid is Holly’s experience? She felt that in addition to the explicit signs Gerry had prepared to be sent to her via intermediaries, there were other signs more subtle that were from beyond. We have all heard tales or perhaps experienced ourselves whether dreaming or waking the presence of loved ones who have passed on.
Read the rest of Maeve’s Review here.