One of the side-effects of having children is only catching about four movies a year, and then only movies that are six years old. Last night I watched Spielberg’s Lincoln, which I’ve wanted to watch since it came out.
Lincoln is a historical figure I hold in particularly high esteem. His (seeming) mix of calm humility, ability with words and charismatic leadership are all characteristics I aspire to. I felt like the movie did well in representing those characteristics.
One thing I fail to remember about Lincoln is that he, like myself, lost a child. One of the most gripping parts of the film for me was a scene where he argues with his wife Mary about the nature of her grief, and his:
Though I wanted to, Mary. I wanted to crawl under the earth, into the vault, with his coffin. And I still do. Every day I do. Don’t speak to me about grief. I must make my decisions, Bob must make his, you yours. And bear what we must. Hold and carry what we must.
What I carry within me, you must allow me to do it. Alone, as I must. And you alone, Mary, you alone may lighten this burden. Or render it intolerable, as you choose.
We all carry burdens, and they often make us the people we are. Lincoln seemed to carry his with unparalleled grace.