Post Mortem

It is July 20, 2015. After seeing my brother's performance on Falling Skies last night, I feel compelled to add this post to my gallery. Doug, of course, played Cochise and his father on last night's episode. Ever since his childhood, he has had the ability to elicit an empathetic response from me under the right circumstances, and I couldn't keep my eyes dry as I watched what for me was a moving portrayal of having to say goodbye to one's deceased father.

It is my observation that fantasy fans are NOT the stereotypical losers who retreat into fictional obsessions because they can't deal with real life. These are creative, intelligent, and very aware people whose opinions matter a great deal. They know that what they are consuming is based on imagination of fantastic proportions, but they simultaneously carry within themselves an understanding that their fantasies reflect upon real life. As such, they demand authenticity in plot consistency, story detail and, more importantly, performance. This is where my youngest brother really delivers. He puts genuine feeling based on life experiences into his portrayals.

Watching him last night, I could not help but go back to a difficult time in May of 1979 when we stood together in a funeral home in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our father had died very unexpectedly of a heart attack, and our mother had already identified his remains at the coroner's in Ruston, Louisiana, where he had been jogging while visiting another brother (Richard, who was enrolled at Louisiana Tech). Mom did not want to go through with the process again after the coffin had been shipped home, so I agreed to do this in her place. Doug was attending Ball State University back then, and he asked if he could come as well, feeling an emotional need to be present for the final verification.

We made the identification together, and, in retrospect, I am grateful that he went with me. It would have been even more difficult alone. I don't know if he was remembering this specific incident while he acted his final scene, but the similarities were impossible for me not to notice. Doug had texted me and our other brothers, Tom and Rich, that we would probably relate to that aspect of the episode. In my case, this was definitely true. Our family knows how to grieve, but, more importantly, we find assurance in our Christian faith. Doug, thank you for giving me and anyone else who reads this yet another opportunity to see how reality informs fantasy.

All pictures from Falling Skies, TNT.