Six Feet Under- Everything Ends

Six Feet Under- Everything Ends

Everything ends. This we know without question. Yet it’s a truth we seldom look towards. We avert our gaze and attention any which way but towards that which we know is inevitable. Death.

Not so with the television series Six Feet Under. The premise of this show is death, yet it unveils so much wisdom about life, and it’s strangely life-affirming.

Now, sure, I’m a little late in joining the Six Feet Under fan club, but isn’t that the beauty of the box set?! I actually prefer stumbling upon a series when it is complete. It’s a delight to immerse yourself in the story and characters, pressing play as you would turn the page of a book, not having to wait a week between episodes, or months between seasons. Imagine having to read a book with such delay!

Now, I promise there will be no spoilers here. I simply want to pay homage to a show that has, to be honest, floored me. I watched the series finale last week and I challenge you to go out and find a better finale to a television series! It’s goddamn perfection.

I’ve been trying to pick apart why this show has affected me so deeply. I mean truly, I’ve been grief-stricken. Crying. On more than one occasion! Three days after finishing it, my husband asked me how I was, and I burst into tears. Call me a weirdo, but after 63 episodes, the Fishers had crawled under my skin and into my heart.

I could really see myself in the characters I grew to love. Their beauty and their ugliness. They were brilliantly flawed. Real and relatable. And I think that’s what good art does- it presents a mirror for you to see yourself, how you live, and how you view the world. It forces you to ask questions. And that can be really bloody uncomfortable.

Many would say the characters are “dysfunctional”. But really- are we as humans here on this big blue orb purely to be “functional”? Of course we strive to be useful and purposeful, but this isn’t the sum of us. The best experiences in my life haven’t served a function. The beautiful moments in my life have essentially been about PEOPLE, and sharing those moments together. They’ve been meaningful to me and my loved ones, but not necessarily useful in any way.

I’ve been gifted many insights while watching this series, created by the masterful Alan Ball (who came to prominence after writing American Beauty). It seems almost obvious that people are the lifeblood of life. But sometimes we need reminding. We become too preoccupied with accomplishing things, and become caught in the jumble and confusion that is life. But if we push the junk to the side, we can see that life is the people around us. And not one of us is flawless.

Unexpectedly, I think the thing I love most about this show is that it’s helped me to accept myself, with all of my shortcomings. I make mistakes. Sometimes I yell at my kids. Sometimes I argue with my husband. Sometimes I say nasty things to people I love. Sometimes I behave in ways that I would consider obnoxious . I don’t aspire to behave like this, and most of the time I don’t. But sometimes I do. And well, that’s ok. This is the ugly stuff that happens behind those oft talked about “closed doors”. But the goings on behind them isn’t really shared.

I feel less like berating myself for not being “functional” all of the time, and not measuring up to an ideal. I don’t know about you, but I’m no walking, talking, levitating Buddha that’s for sure. Ironically, it’s sometimes these squabbles that lead to a greater understanding of each other as people. Beneath the emotions that foam up, the true hurt is exposed, and when the waters have settled, the payoff is a greater closeness and empathy for each other’s struggles. A knowing that we are all trying our best in this life. Whatever is done. Whatever is gone. You can always start over. Always. And we have nothing in this life, if not hope.

 

2 Replies to “Six Feet Under- Everything Ends”

  1. Always great to be reminded of what really matters in life, Alicia, and what yo,let go of. You’re do right that we can get tied up in the accomplishments and, I guess, the ticking of things off a list. It’s hard not to get caught up in societal, or personal, expectations.
    I also love a box set! You’re exactly right a who would pause so long between the chapters of an enthralling hook”

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