With this week being the 5 year anniversary of my lung biopsy, I’ve been thinking about Walter White of Breaking Bad and his battle with lung cancer. I remember a scene where his wife is expressing empathy for their brother in law, who’d been involved in a shooting. “I can’t imagine what he must have gone through, looking at death like that.” Meanwhile, she is angry at her husband for his decisions, who himself has terminal lung cancer.
Having had faced – and evaded for the time being — the spectre of my own death through lung disease, I feel for Walt. Suddenly, the world feels very temporary and fleeting, and all the people and things around you seem like ghosts. It is a very surreal feeling, and I can very well imagine where he’d start doing everything possible to make a dent before he departed. How can we expect someone to be accountable to our rules and expectations, when that person knows they won’t be here in a few months and there is nothing that any of us can do to change that? I can see where someone would start looking to other things beyond human beings for validation and guidance. You hope they remain grounded, but it is hard to blame them if they don’t, and start making some crazy decisions.
In that way (and so many other ways), I really love Breaking Bad.
I can’t wait for the next season of Better Call Saul.