Watching Titanic: The Movie

For the first time since it was released 12 years ago, I watched Titanic in its entirety. Up to now I had resisted, believing that I would feel too much pain as I remembered my own struggle to survive the Andrea Doria calamity of  1956.  But now, as I am preparing the treatment (with expert advice) for what I hope will be an epic movie on the Andrea Doria affair, I forced myself to watch the Academy award winning film, written and directed by James Cameron.

Besides, I told myself, James Cameron told me personally that if I ate an onion and cried out all my tears, I could sit and watch the movie tearless and undisturbed. I guess I should’ve heeded his advice. I sat bracing the couch arms, hoping for the best—without an onion.

The beginning was factual and unemotional, giving me confidence to continue. Soon, the story began the flashback of a survivor’s tale. I knew it was going to be a tragic love story, having seen bits and pieces before. I fell prepared. But what ensued emotionally, took me by surprise. The love story drew me in with such intensity that I began to relive the loss of my husband at a young age: he was 35 and I was 33.

At this point, I didn’t need an onion to cry; I sobbed uncontrollably, not only through the rest of the movie, but an hour or so beyond.  During the night I was plagued with nightmares dealing with loss.  The next morning, I still felt weepy. I’m not sure if I feel more healed now or not, but I can say with certainty that the love story is a masterpiece! To think that I was able to transcend my fear of being shipwrecked, just so I could concentrate on my fear of loss and abandonment is astounding.

 Nevertheless, during the survival scenes, I was transported to the horrific collision between the Stockholm and the Andrea Doria. As a topic expert, I couldn’t help compare and contrast  the two shipwrecks: Titanic and Andrea Doria.

 My next blog will reveal the similarities and differences that I observed.

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