By a curious twist of fate, Jack’s life is hanging by a thread, or rather it is hanging on leaves!!
For every word he says, one leaf will fall, and when the tree has no leaves left, he will die.
He wastes about 1000 of them by trying to wake up from this nightmare, but in the meantime, not only has he not said the 3 words that will free him, he has also destroyed everything that he had: his job, his family and his relationship with his mother.
The latter, during the visits that Jack makes, never recognises him and mistakes him for his father, to which he feels anger and hatred for having left before dying. One day, while the leaves are falling and taking away time to make things right, Jack reflects on what he has lost and dedicates a last visit to his mother.
He discovers that she, despite having Alzheimer’s, has always recognised him and, even though she confuses him for his father, she would like them to speak to each other and forgive each other for the sake of love and family.
Jack’s last three words are pronounced on the grave, using one of the highest human liberties: imagination.
He imagines himself in the shoes of his father; he images all that he would have liked to have said to him, and what he would have liked to have heard. And in the end, he says the 3 words that free him: I FORGIVE YOU.
The leaves fall, like tears and heal the wounds of an entire existence.
Forgiveness is a therapeutic act, it frees us from burdens that we carry around with us in life. Is it possible to forgive those that have hurt us and are no longer living on earth? We have just seen that it can be done. We are actors, film directors and stage designers of our own films. By visualising and imagining, we can turn our clocks forward and backwards to recuperate forgotten resources and experiences.
Science has long proved to us that our brain does not recognise the difference between imagination and reality. However, in most cases, we use this great “liberty” as a if it were “slavery-like” and therefore the chains keep us bound to anger, hate and solitude.
In the scene, extracted from the film “A Thousand Words”, Jack’s tree comes to life again, like his life does: as a different man.
This is what happens with forgiveness, we are born again. We live with more joy and more love. At times the journey is a long one, it can be never-ending.
However, every time I think about what I would have liked to have heard, but have never been told, I continue to say: “Dad I forgive you!” and I feel better straightaway.