In one of the episodes of the successful TV sitcom, Two and A Half Men, playboy Charlie Harper (played by actual playboy, Charlie Sheen) “attends” his own funeral. Many of his former girlfriends file into the pews for the joy of heckling the deceased jingle writer for his philandering ways and to celebrate his demise. Even Charlie’s mother and brother have little good to say about him.
In Beaches, the popular 1988 tearjerker, CC Bloom (brilliantly portrayed by Bette Midler) learns that her childhood friend, Hillary (played by Barbara Hershey), is dying. CC puts her career and life on hold to comfort Hillary in her final months.
Of course, none of us wants to be like Charlie. But who among us doesn’t hope to have at least one CC Bloom in our life, a close friend or relative who would stop everything to be with us until the very end? And don’t we like to think we’d be a CC to someone dear to us?
It distresses me when I see others rushing out to visit relatives, former friends or acquaintances whom they haven’t seen in years, just because they are terminally ill. I’ll also never understand anyone who must show up at funerals, to “pay their respects,” especially because they didn’t respect the deceased when they were very much alive.
Why do death, sickness, and other unfortunate circumstances, turn some people into our best friends
and closest relatives?
Do they suddenly become kind because they’re relieved they aren’t sick… or dead? Are they guilty that they haven’t been in touch and wish to redeem themselves? Do they genuinely believe that their ostensibly kind gestures and mere presence will show them off in a good light?
Give of yourself and your time with those you love, when you’re all alive and healthy. That’s when you really score points! On the other hand, if you didn’t like someone enough to connect with them in decades, you won’t get extra credit for making a cameo appearance near the end.