Author Topic: Jack's Dying Wish  (Read 553 times)

Offline davidinnyc

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Jack's Dying Wish
« on: Mar 07, 2018, 04:11 AM »
Hello guys. I've read a lot of discussions about Jack's death, on this forum as well as other places. Many people talked about how Lureen lied in the phone conversation, and what Jack's parents may or may not know. What actually happened to Jack was left ambiguous intentionally by the creators of the story and we may never find out for sure. But regarding Jack's death, there is something that's been on my mind lately and I haven't found a discussion about it, so I'm starting it here. And that is about Jack's dying wish, which is to have his ashes scattered on BBM.

Regarding this, I have a few points to make.

1. Regardless of what Lureen may or may not lie about in the phone conversation, I do think she did not lie about Jack's dying wish. There is no reason for her to make up one if Jack never had a dying wish. And even if she were to make up one, it wouldn't be this one.

2. Jack's parents know about Jack's dying wish also. When Ennis visited them, they knew exactly what Ennis was there for. When Ennis asked about the ash, neither of them showed any surprise or shock, as they would if they didn't have knowledge about the dying wish.

3. All 3 people's attitudes towards Jack's dying wish are clearly visible in the film. Lureen didn't know what it truly means in the beginning. She thought it was some pretend place and Jack's wish was some crazy talk. I think she knew Ennis was one of Jack's lovers. But it was until Ennis told her about BBM that she realized Ennis was "THE lover", and Jack's wish was a sincere one. After knowing the truth, she wants Ennis to carry out Jack's wish, and that's why she directed Ennis to contact Jack's folks. Jack's parents knew exactly who Ennis was. Jack's mom wants her son's wish to be carried out but she is too powerless to do so. Jack's dad doesn't want to carry out Jack's wish, for many complicated reasons.

4. With those being said, I find it odd that a 39-year-old man (or even younger Jack) would mention his dying wish in casual daily conversations or even have one in the first place. Usually people would consider having a dying wish when they know they are about to die, like of old age or incurable diseases. But Jack was none of those. Even if Jack had a crazy moment and thought about his dying wish out of nowhere, it doesn't make sense for him to bring it up to his wife and say things like "I want my ashes to be scatter in BBM when I die" and "BBM is my fav place." Wouldn't that raise questions in the marriage, which are totally avoidable??

My first 3 points are my observations from the film and last point is based on what I think is common sense. To combine everything I just said, I found it more plausible that Jack said the dying wish on his death bed. His parents may or may not be there also, but at least Lureen was there to hear it. And if that's the case,  this would be another perspective to deduct that Lureen lied as in her story, Jack would never had a chance to say anything before he died.

Again, I cannot offer the conclusion of how Jack died. But maybe this can be another perspective to look into?

Any thoughts are appreciated, thanks!!
 

Offline tpe

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #1 on: Mar 07, 2018, 08:12 PM »
For some reason, I didn't really find it odd that he talked about his wish in a casual way with his family.

He clearly talked about that summer on Brokeback Mountain often, and I think it was in this context that he spoke about his wish.

It is quite common to hear people talk about their favorite place on earth and say that it is there that they would want to be laid to rest.

Offline davidinnyc

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #2 on: Mar 07, 2018, 09:23 PM »
For some reason, I didn't really find it odd that he talked about his wish in a casual way with his family.

He clearly talked about that summer on Brokeback Mountain often, and I think it was in this context that he spoke about his wish.

It is quite common to hear people talk about their favorite place on earth and say that it is there that they would want to be laid to rest.

Hello tpe, thank you for your reply!!

I partially agree with you after reading your response. I guess it's hard for me to understand why Jack would mention his dying wish because I personally don't know anyone in good health and in that age would say anything like that. But maybe that's just my social circle. Like you said, maybe people do say things like that casually or jokingly.

But I still think people would only openly talk about things when there's no secrets involved. For example, if me and my wife went on a trip to Rome last year and we had the best time there, I would have no problem telling her and other people that "Rome is my fav place" or " I want my ashes to be scattered there", because the fact that "I love my wife" "We had a good time in Rome" was no secret. That's not the case for Jack. Think about it, after Jack telling Lureen "BBM is my fav place""I want my ashes to be scattered on BBM", questions like "why" and "what happened there" would naturally come up. And Jack would have to lie about it. And if this conversation did happen, Jack did lie about it since Lureen didn't understand what BBM is until Ennis told her on the phone. But on a second thought, it doesn't make sense for Jack to start the conversation in the first place. I just feel like it does not make sense for people to bring up a conversation that would give away their secrets.

Another detail in the movie is that in the "Jack looks for his blue parker" scene, he told Lureen that he's going to Mt Big Horn, not BBM. So Lureen didn't know about BBM at all for a very long time.

« Last Edit: Mar 08, 2018, 05:11 AM by davidinnyc »

Offline FlwrChild

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #3 on: Mar 08, 2018, 01:45 PM »
Hi davidinnyc and tpe.   :)


I'll hit a couple of these points. As to making plans for when you die and who a person might talk to about that, I think it really depends on the person. Some people never want to talk about death and others are more comfortable acknowledging their own mortality and talking about what might happen when they go.

I personally have had a list of the music that I'd like to be used in my memorial service (which I hope will be many, many years from now) since my late 30's and I've discussed it with a variety of people. It usually comes up after attending a service for someone who has died and the conversation turns to our preferences, family traditions, etc. In that respect, I think sometimes it's actually more likely for younger, healthy people to talk about their wishes because it all seems so theoretical and not imminent. Whereas some people will talk about such things less as they get older and that reality gets a little closer. And I know exactly what my dad wants for his funeral because he wrote up his wishes years ago when a friend of his died suddenly and it occurred to him that he should let us know what he wants when the time comes.

I could see Jack talking about something like that, not so much as a definitive effort to make plans but more in a reflective, "That's what I'd want" kind of way. I imagine sometimes it was just a hypothetical statement and at other times it might have been when he was contemplating his life and thinking about his possible death. According to Lureen he drank a lot in his later years and it seemed that his unhappiness grew so it wouldn't surprise me if he sometimes thought about when it would all be over.     

As to the need to lie if she asked questions, I'd say (1) It doesn't appear that she did because she said she thought BBM might be an imaginary place. A simple "Really? Where's that?" when he said he wanted his ashes scattered there would have gotten her at least some kind of response. Apparently she either wasn't interested enough or she just didn't take it seriously when he talked about it. (2) A simple response would do so Jack wouldn't really have to put much effort into a lie or worry about what anyone would think. "I spent a couple summers there when I was younger. Beautiful place. God's country." That's as good a reason as most have. I don't really think it's a conversation that would be likely to give away any of his secrets.

Finally, about the blue parka scene: In the short story it's made clear that Jack and Ennis don't actually ever go back to Brokeback Mountain. They make trips to a variety of other places but never back to Brokeback. I don't think the movie makes a statement about that one way or another. It just shows them on different trips in similar settings. So you're right, davidinnyc; Lureen didn't know about BBM all those years. It was only when Ennis told her that he'd spent a summer there with Jack and she put that together with Jack saying it was his favorite place that she understood the importance of both BBM and Ennis in Jack's life.

That's my take anyway.   :)
For a moment in our lives. Forever in our hearts.

"They were respectful of each otherís opinions, each glad to have a companion where none had been expected." ~ BBM Short Story

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. (Mister Rogers)

Offline davidinnyc

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #4 on: Mar 09, 2018, 05:09 AM »


Finally, about the blue parka scene: In the short story it's made clear that Jack and Ennis don't actually ever go back to Brokeback Mountain. They make trips to a variety of other places but never back to Brokeback. I don't think the movie makes a statement about that one way or another. It just shows them on different trips in similar settings. So you're right, davidinnyc; Lureen didn't know about BBM all those years. It was only when Ennis told her that he'd spent a summer there with Jack and she put that together with Jack saying it was his favorite place that she understood the importance of both BBM and Ennis in Jack's life.


Thanks for your reply FlwrChild. You got me rethink about the whole thing. In the movie, the whole story is mainly narrated from Ennis' perspective, as Ennis is the leading role and Jack is the supporting role. Jack's life was only depicted through several short scenes across 20 years, so there are a lot of things we do not know about his life and a lot of different possibilities when we try to fill in the gaps. In the movie, the last time Ennis and Jack got together, Jack joked about seeing the ranch foreman's wife, which we all know is Randall. Jack jokingly said "he is scared that Lureen or the husband may shoot him if they find out". But that might be an actual fear in life and he knew death may be somewhere waiting for him if it gets find out. So that could be why he thinks about dying wish and told Lureen about it. Another thing is that someone mentioned old Newsome died before Jack's death a while ago in the SS, so that could also be a time to bring up the dying wish thought for Jack as someone in the family died. Like I said, much of Jack's life was never mentioned, so there are a million ways we could fill in the blank.

Another part of Jack's dying wish that I didn't mention was cremation. Since I had doubts about the whole dying wish thing in the beginning, the first time I heard "cremated" in the movie, my hunch was that cremation would be the perfect way to destroy evidence if he were killed. But cremation would be the only possible way for him to go back to BBM after he dies. So in that regard, it makes sense that Jack wants to be cremated.

Offline FlwrChild

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #5 on: Mar 09, 2018, 07:20 PM »
Good point about all the missing pieces of Jack's life that we don't see.



Another part of Jack's dying wish that I didn't mention was cremation. Since I had doubts about the whole dying wish thing in the beginning, the first time I heard "cremated" in the movie, my hunch was that cremation would be the perfect way to destroy evidence if he were killed. But cremation would be the only possible way for him to go back to BBM after he dies. So in that regard, it makes sense that Jack wants to be cremated.

Well said. I completely agree.
For a moment in our lives. Forever in our hearts.

"They were respectful of each otherís opinions, each glad to have a companion where none had been expected." ~ BBM Short Story

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. (Mister Rogers)

Offline tpe

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #6 on: Mar 12, 2018, 09:45 PM »
Also agree regarding the cremation aspect.

I have known someone who requested that his ashes be scattered in various places that he considered his favorite places on earth. You could imagine that his friends couldn't do so openly. In fact, one of the places was in a very well known spot in Venice...

Offline Thuy Tien

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #7 on: Nov 12, 2018, 03:10 AM »
In my opinion: Jack talked about his wish of cremation when he drank to much.

Offline FlwrChild

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Re: Jack's Dying Wish
« Reply #8 on: Nov 15, 2018, 11:06 AM »
Thuy Tien, you may be right about that. Perhaps when he drank he didn't worry as much about being discreet and said what was on his mind. Frequently alcohol loosens our tongues.


tpe, I also have a friend who wants their ashes scattered in different places that are meaningful to them. I don't think that's uncommon these days. As you point out, sometimes one has to be very careful about carrying out those wishes depending on where the person wants to be scattered.
For a moment in our lives. Forever in our hearts.

"They were respectful of each otherís opinions, each glad to have a companion where none had been expected." ~ BBM Short Story

There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. (Mister Rogers)