Loss Amplifies Loss (What Longmire Season 6 Gets Right)
WARNING – This post contains spoilers for the final season of the Netflix show, Longmire. If you haven’t watched it yet and want to, then you may want to pass on this post until you’ve seen it.
The final season of Longmire has been available to stream on Netflix since November 17th. Because I was super busy and had no time to watch it the first weekend it was available and because I know my parents are also fans, I chose to wait to watch the series with them while I was in New Mexico for Thanksgiving. We finished it last night and at least one part of the storyline rang true for me.
I’m assuming you’ve seen it since you’re still reading. But if you haven’t, then you should know (surprise, surprise) that Walt and Vic get together at the end. Of course, that’s been in the works for six seasons so no surprise.
But I did like that in their final scene together, when they’re out on his porch talking about their future, Vic hesitates. She tells him she doesn’t think they belong together – an idea that hinges entirely on her miscarriage a few episodes before. After some conversation, Vic finally tells Walt she can’t keep wondering if he’s going to die.
A thought I’m sure would be intimately true for her because loss amplifies loss.
Watching that scene, I could not help but think about the moment my parents left to go home three weeks after Brady died. I was a wreck. Even though they were not fully absent from my life, their immediate absence was amplified by the loss that loomed so large in my life.
A few weeks later, my oldest (and first) dog, Gus, got terribly sick. On the ride to the animal hospital with him that evening, I turned to him while he was in the backseat and said, “You better not die on me, Gus. I can’t bear that right now.” While that loss would have been bad enough on its own, I just didn’t have any confidence in my ability to ride it out amid the other loss.
Then a few months ago, when I traveled for the first time after Brady died and had to leave my animals behind, I carried some anxiety with me the entire time I was supposedly on vacation. Even though I’d left them lots of times and completely trusted the person in whose care they were, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that anything could happen. That loss of their presence in my daily life, however temporary, was amplified by the other.
Loss amplifies loss.
I don’t blame Vic for being worried about losing Walt. Grief does weird things to the way we think and when we’re already feeling wounded, our minds will try to protect us from feeling this sort of pain again.
After she tells him she doesn’t want to keep worrying about whether he’s going to die, he says that he will, someday. She tells him, “I don’t want to live through that. I don’t think I could.” Loss amplifies loss.
Which is why I also like Walt’s response to her. He tells her she can, that he did (his first wife died), and that he thinks that’s kind of the point of everything. If you love something that much you don’t want to live without it. He chooses to love in spite of the loss.
But he’s also far more removed from his loss. Time does make it better.
I’m finding the more time passes, the easier things get. Leaving my animals to travel for this holiday wasn’t nearly as difficult as it was a couple months ago. I imagine leaving my family in the morning won’t be as difficult as it was a few months ago (even if it is to go home to my animals who I miss).
Loss amplifies loss and the more we learn to live after our loss, the less each loss is amplified.