There’s a movie I saw a long time ago called “After Life.” From Wikipedia:
Koreeda’s After Life is set in a waystation where the souls of the recently deceased are processed before entering heaven. “Heaven,” for the film, is a single memory from one’s life.
The movie is set in a structure resembling a decrepit travel lodge. A group of people who have just died check in at the beginning of each week, and the “social workers” resident in the lodge explain to each guest their situation. The newly-dead have until Wednesday to decide what the single happiest or most significant memory from their life is, and then for the rest of the week the workers make short movies to recreate each person’s chosen memory.
At the end of the week, the movies are shown in the screening room. As soon as each person sees his or her own memory, he or she vanishes to whatever unknown state of existence lies beyond and takes only that single memory with them into eternity.
That movie has stayed with me over the years. Sometimes I will think about what I’m doing in the present and judge it—would this memory be one to keep? Today, I was sorting papers in the bedroom. Rowan came in and came up onto the bed. She found my little skeins of embroidery thread and started draping them around my neck. I couldn’t have been happier. The feel of her little hands as she carefully tied each thread, the heat of her breath as she concentrated working on her little project. It was such a little thing, a day in the life, yet so sweet. Touch is so precious. I kiss and hug her all the time, but when she reciprocates, I am filled with joy. I am so in love with that girl.
I remember one of the things that surprised me when I became a mother is how sensual babies are. Nobody likes to say things like that for fear it will be mistaken for sexual feelings. But having a baby is like having a lover, you want to be with them and close to them all the time. They occupy your thoughts. It’s sad, but our society is so limited in that we think of love as either sexual or non sexual, but that doesn’t begin to encompass the nuances of the emotion. I want to hold Rowan all the time, kiss her, hug her, that touch is important to me. I know the smell of her breath and scent of her hair, the light pressure of her fingertips. And I enjoy the closeness I have with her now, because by the very definition of growing up, she will grow away from me for a time.