When Not to Watch the Walking Dead?

It is always okay to watch the Walking Dead.

It is okay, even if I am alone, shrieking with myself when the zombie/walkers/biters/herd attack. It is okay to while eating lunch and snacks with the gory and bloody encounters. It is even okay to watch it while playing with my toddler. I’ve done that all.

Yet, that is is just for me.

Because the horror is not from the zombies, not the dead. It is from those surviving and the dilemma they have in lieu with their lives. It is the frightening nightmare that haunts me even when dreaming, my only escape from this unreliable reality.

But there is one case when watching the Walking Dead could be far real than the dilemmas in zombie apocalypse. And I should have realized that earlier.

I have a father who is half dead with the other half hanging for life. And it hit me just this morning. The morning after I finished every available episode of the series. I got a call from my sister, telling me to go the hospital. My Dad had a seizure. My dad had survived his 4th stroke leaving him paralyzed, and this seizure, recorded as his 6th stroke, could leave him more immobile, with a few more movements from the further seizures to follow.

That would be very painful to him. Very painful to me, to our family.

I assisted him in the CT-Scan room and he wouldn’t stop jerking, turning his head, swinging his arm. I talked to him that it would only take five minutes. He raised his hand. I held it. He tried to put it on my nape, as if he was to whisper to me. I heard murmurs, but they were meaningless. Maybe he really wanted to tell me something, but this Aphasia wan’t letting him. The doctor, my cousin told me that my dad wasn’t himself. And that made sense when my dad pull me closer to his face, with his mouth open, that i could smell his breath, that i wouldn’t dare to describe.

The thought that came that moment would be or could be funny, but I couldn’t make a laugh out of it. I thought my dad has turned into a walker, and he would devour me. Yes that is too much of Walking Dead, but him turning would have made him dead. And that is the real scary thought. How can i joke about him turning into one when that joke would imply us losing him. I just couldn’t. I can’t. And i don’t know why.

Walking Dead shouldn’t be watched when you are near the existential question: What is this life all about? Why do we have to live when in the end, we’re all gonna die? Why keep fighting, when in reality, dying is the most practical thing to do? Why pull of ’till tomorrow what you can do today?

I don’t have the answer to that.

I don’t want to answer that.

As the year opened, I’ve visited two wakes, one is for my good friend’s dad, the other, for a co-worker. This weekend, we are to visit a former classmate who succumbed to Fungal Meningitis. Three deaths, and i prayed of no one close to follow. Because that wouldn’t be okay.

2 thoughts on “When Not to Watch the Walking Dead?

  1. I love the Walking Dead. I think one of the cool things about it is that it does in fact make you question existence and what it means. What does it mean to be alive and how do you live when all the rules change are the less common but nonetheless scary themes.

    I’m so sorry about your father. And I can see where you’d reluctantly draw that parallel.

  2. So sad.. but you are right, the Walking Dead to me is not at all about the zombies but rather about the survival of those left. We see horrifying choices, desperate acts and cruelty that sadly is the epitome of our society.

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