‘Dying to Know’ with Gay Dillingham: A Documentary on Timothy Leary & Ram Dass

Gay Dillingham, producer/director of ‘Dying to Know’ the documentary that chronicles Tim Leary and Ram Das’s friendship in the final days of Leary’s life shares her own tale of pouring her own loss and grief into the award-winning film.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest

To know more about the documentary Dying to Know on Timothy Leary & Ram Dass, visit the official website.

Dying to Know Podcast Transcription

Kelly MacLean: It’s the when you die podcast, I’m Kelly MacLean, your host.

I’m very excited to tell you about today’s guest, her name is Gay Dillingham

Gay started making documentary films out of college in the late 80s. Her first The WIPP Trail cast a critical eye on the first, and still world’s only underground nuclear waste repository. It became a community organizing tool and aired on PBS nationally. 

My Body Belongs to Me, a children’s proactive educational program on sexual abuse, earned the American Film Fest award for “Guidance & Values Education.” Her company co-produced Dr. Andrew Weil’s first show in the mid 90s long before he was a twinkle in Oprahs eye. 

Today she frequents film festivals with her award-winning film, Dying to Know, a project she’s worked on for nearly 2 decades. The film features footage that Gay recorded of Timothy Leary in the final months of his life. During that time his fellow national treasure and former fellow professor at Harvard, longtime friend Ram Das, came down to spend time with Timothy at the end of his life, and can you imagine? Gay was there. The film is not only an intimate portrait of these two great minds and their fascinating connection but an intimate and stunning reflection on what it means to die.

Kelly MacLean: I just had the pleasure of watching your film and the very first screen is of a quote, a Carl Jung quote about death, which is …

Gay Dillingham: “Behold death for it teaches me how to live.”

Kelly MacLean: Exactly.

Gay Dillingham: And that was from the Red Book, his Red Book.

Kelly MacLean: So beautiful, and I just thought … I wondered if that resonated with you  particularly because at such a young age you lost your brother and you kind of had to behold death at a very young age.

Gay Dillingham: Yes, I did.  Yeah, a tragedy that really brought me to my knees.  And it did … it helped me. It forced me to grow up and awaken a little earlier than I would have otherwise.  Really start that process. So, yeah it was also a door opening. And a way to see in our culture how we have the denial of something that we’re all going to eventually go through and how many problems that cause reverberating in all parts of our life and our culture, by the denial of this very natural process.  So, yeah that’s when I began to see that and became fascinated also with just the deeper process. The death re-birth psychological process, not just the loss of the body but all of these little mini-deaths, these ego-deaths, these things that we need to go through to live more fully.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  It seems …

Gay Dillingham: And these two guys happened to teach me a lot about that.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Was your brother’s death at all … did that get you on that trajectory to this project, in particular?

Gay Dillingham: It did.  It did. I look back through the threads and the first time I ever heard Timothy Leary’s name … my brother Matt, I was probably fourteen at the time, he might have been seventeen, he died at 20, but he had risked, you know, on a school night he drove to the city, to Oklahoma City, you know, two and a half hours, two hours, to see Timothy Leary.  This was after he had gotten out of prison and he was giving a talk and I had never … I didn’t know who that was so my first question was, “Who is Timothy Leary?” and “Why does Matt need to go … really want to go see him?”

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And then fast-forward to … I was in college then in the 80’s and Timothy was doing a college circuit talking about LSD, which at that time was Leary’s software design because we were in the height of the drug war at that point.

Kelly MacLean: Mmmhmm.

Gay Dillingham for Dying to know Timothy Leary documentary

Gay Dillingham: And you know it was interesting because who I saw at that moment was more the showman.  I didn’t really see the man, and I wasn’t that attracted. So then fast forward to mid-90’s when he announces he’s dying in the media and I’m having dinner with a few friends that were also in the film business and you know, we said, “What could we do that would be interesting?  Because this is a historical moment.” And came up with the idea to bring Ram Dass down from the Bay area to put him together with Tim, and Andrew had that idea but you know, I didn’t understand their relationship at that point and I was the youngest one at the table, which was ironic that you know, we decided that I would direct it.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: It’s also something that really held my attention.  I mean I did that early filming and then set it down for a lot of years because I needed to.  I was starting other environmental companies and did a lot of other work but I kept coming back to it because there was something very seminal in this conversation between the two of them that we filmed in December of 1995.

Kelly MacLean: So you got to be privy to it.  This really tender time of … this deathbed time.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  Right. And then having more interviews with Tim before he died in May of ’96 and then a very, very narrow window with Ram Dass …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … Prior to his stroke, which was February ’97, and then he ended up with a 10% chance of survival, and thank god he’s still alive because he’s still teaching and affecting a lot of people’s lives for the better [5:00 MINUTES], and certainly my life.  And yes so Timothy was an unusual character and he’d been so glorified and so demonized …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: Mostly demonized and misunderstood.  So part of my real discovery was taking the caricature my media had handed me and really finding the human story in how interesting he was and vulnerable and witty, but to see him through the lens, which was Ram Dass’ love, was the most important thing for me.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah that’s what really comes through in the film.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  It’s a portrait of a relationship.

Kelly MacLean: When also it was his deathbed, so you know, what better moment to meet someone’s mind, right?  You really got the tender exposed part, not the showman as you were saying earlier, at all.

Gay Dillingham: Absolutely – The vulnerable Timothy.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Did you feel like his own experience of embracing death and coming close to death was like the capstone of his teachings or sort of the real evolution of the quest that he started – studying psychology and then getting into psychedelic drugs?

Gay Dillingham: Well, you know, as a psychologist he and Ram Dass, Richard Alpert, also wrote the Tibetan Book of the Dead, which was … I’m sorry.  Excuse me. The Psychedelic Experience, which was based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and they’d always be … You know, his mind and his intellect was always fascinated with this, but I think his own death he hadn’t planned for.  He, you know, really promoted certain ideas but the real part of it for him was … I think he went through a lot of stages, you know, a lot of … he wanted to do cryonics, which was freezing the brain. He did end up letting that go in the end but that was in some ways … I took that as a two-fold thing, you know, partly a last kind of stab at immortality …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … But the other side was he truly was a scientist and he always said, “You know, the first boats were row boats, so I owe it to science to do this.”

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: But it really kind of got in the way of the actual experience in the end and that’s why he gave it up.

Kelly MacLean: Interesting.  Yeah, because he was such a futurist that of course he would want to embrace that leap way into the future but it ended up on a personal level getting in the way, you think?

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  You know, he wanted to be with his loved ones.  He didn’t want to have to go through what needed to happen because you know, the moment you die you have to get [DRILLING IN BACKGROUND] … certain technical things have to happen.  So I think his last words were also very revealing, which is … he said a number of things kind of in a … because he was going back and forth, almost kind of in a chant of sorts, but he kept asking the question, “Why?” “Why?”  In a lot of different intonations and then shortly before he died he apparently said, “Why not?” “Why not?” So I think for someone who didn’t have the faith or … that Ram Dass, Richard Alpert, has in terms of you know, he really believes that something goes on, your soul goes on …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … And Tim didn’t have that.  But I think that there was a lot of possibility there at the end of his life, and in this film I felt strongly … I’m not certainly trying to tell anybody what to believe because the truth is, I don’t know.  It’s a mystery …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And … but it’s all very personal … and what I liked about these two men, these two individuals – they had a love affair.  It was a very soulful love affair. It wasn’t a physical one, but they approached this question of death very differently, and yet they loved each other.  So the viewer gets this …

Kelly MacLean: Can I pause you for one second?  So I was very…

Gay Dillingham: Testing … 1, 2, 3.

Kelly MacLean: Here we are again … Looks good.  So I was very curious about what you were about to say about Ram Dass and Timothy Leary having very different approaches.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  I think what attracted me about their relationship was they were so different in how they approached death and so I really believe it’s a mystery and a conversation and it kind of allows everybody into the film instead of telling them what to believe or think.

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: Because the truth is, I don’t know.  You know, you see all of the stages and phases Tim went through in his reckoning, if you will, and also with Ram Dass because he has this stroke and he was feeling pretty on top of the world prior to that, right?

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  They have such a weird parallel that they both started out just as intellectuals and then took a spiritual leap at a similar time and became kind of leaders of their own spiritual movements in their own rights but from our own culture.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.

Kelly MacLean: And then they both ended up taking this turn around a similar time, Timothy toward death and Ram Dass toward sickness, basically, or stroke.

Gay Dillingham: Uh-huh.  And they both started with this fascination – research with psychedelics or entheogens …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And they ended up expressing that very differently throughout their life.  Even though they were the two Harvard psychologists that started these experiments in the early 60’s.  Ram Dass went to India, started that path and became a spiritual teacher, and still is, and Timothy was still the social revolutionary and ended up in prison.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: Which, we cover in the film.  Most people don’t realize he spent almost four years in prison, two and a half in …

Kelly MacLean: For a joint, right?

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  Less than half an ounce.

Kelly MacLean: Wow.

Gay Dillingham: And two and a half in solitary confinement.

Kelly MacLean: Wow.  That’s … I mean that drives you crazy.

Gay Dillingham: Right.  And I really feel he was the first, if not one of the first casualties of this drug war …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: … That we’re finally starting to make some changes around, which is good.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  So long later, now here we are in California where marijuana is now legal.  It almost seems like they each, in going to jail and to India, they each kind of sped up their path a little bit.  Can you say something about what you felt Tim’s approach to death was and also what Ram Dass’ approach was?

Gay Dillingham: Well, Tim was the consummate, as Ram Dass called him, ‘philosophical materialist scientist.’  You know, “You’re dead when you’re dead.”

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: And Ram Dass was always surprised, like, “How could he believe that when he’s taken all of the acid he’s taken?”

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: “Didn’t you see?”

Kelly MacLean: … And still remained conventional.  Clearly he needed the acid if he was still conventional after that.

Gay Dillingham: And Ram Dass, you know, because he went to India and studied Hinduism, you know, had a guru and a teacher named Karoli Baba or Maharaj-ji, you know, he feels strongly that he does go on.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: Now, who knows, maybe on his death bed he may have some other thoughts or choices or whatever and I think it’s a very dynamic process, probably for each individual differently, but … And so this film captures this very honest lively discussion about all of this between the two of them.  You know, “What is death?” “Does anything go on?” “What happens after the brain is eaten by worms?”

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And then how do we as a society practice death and rebirth? Meaning the ego-deaths that help us live more fully.  And we don’t really have … Other cultures have more consciousness or ritual around that awareness and I really believe when we don’t, when we’re not conscious of it, it becomes unconscious, and I would say our lack of rites of passage really cause a lot of trouble as well.  And I think I lost my brother because of that. He, you know, twenty years old, going too fast in a car off a mountain road, that’s to me, you know, flirting with his mortality …

Kelly MacLean: Yes.

Gay Dillingham: … The edges.  As any young person would, and didn’t have a container for it.  And … Or a girl with anorexia or vice versa, you know? There’s an unconscious rites of passage – trying to find identity.  And so to me are in many ways as a culture we don’t hold ourselves in the circle of life

Kelly MacLean: Mmmhmm.  That’s so well said.

Gay Dillingham: Which is where nature lives.  It’s life and death.

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: We don’t see ourselves in that circle so therefore we can’t deal with climate change very well.  We can’t deal with nuclear weapons. These things that really are existential threats.

Kelly MacLean: Yes.

Gay Dillingham: So my little sneaky intervention was, well, on a very personal level, let’s just go there and get more naturalized with the fact that we’re all going to let go of this space suit at some point.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  And I love the title, ‘Dying to Know,’ which is sort of a double entendre.  It works on different levels. It really speaks to that fact that maybe we’re all craving this awareness of death, right?  Like, you’re saying, “It’s a circle. It’s not a straight line of infinity.” Like, it’s the circle of life, and what happens when we abandon one side of it?  It’s kind of like the experiment we’re in, because I do feel like a lot of our world is built around sort of avoiding death. Yeah. Did you feel that completing this film actually was some sort of completion of a cycle that started when your brother passed away suddenly?

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  It was very much a healing for me.  

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And you know, it’s been almost two years and I’ve been going to different cities, 80 cities, with this film …

Kelly MacLean: Wow.

Gay Dillingham: … And it’s just now going on digital platforms.  But holding conversations, facilitating these really deep interesting interactions with audiences, with 18 year olds next to 80 year olds, and that’s what was meaningful to me.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And so I would also like to ask you, where did the film leave you, both in how did you feel, what did you think?

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  I mean … Well, like you, my brother passed away in a car accident a little less than a year and a half ago …

Gay Dillingham: Oh, I’m so sorry.

Kelly MacLean: … So anytime I kind of go there, kind of brings that up, which I like because it’s something that you don’t always have in the forefront to get through your day, you know?  But it was just sort of profoundly touching to see how these two men had so much love for each other in the end and how much more conscious we could all be if we had that through every day, you know?  Yeah. Has the response from people been … What has the response been like?

Gay Dillingham: It’s interesting.  I think that the through thread for an emotion is people say that they’re inspired, which is unusual that a film about death is inspiring.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Like there’s a wind in the sails quality to it.

Gay Dillingham: So that’s been… and one eighteen year old girl, who was even from Spain so she didn’t have the American hippy culture, you know, as a context, but she said, “This film makes me want to live more and love more,” which truly made me happy.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  It all harkens back to the first thing that you open the film with, which is that quote about …

Gay Dillingham: ”Behold death for it teaches me how to live.”

Kelly MacLean: Yeah, and it kind of reminds us that maybe we’re robbing ourselves of life in avoiding a big part of it, you know, which is death.  But you were saying, what was this lovely eighteen-year-old Spanish girl …

Gay Dillingham: She said, “This film makes me want to live more and love more.”  So it opened her. And it also helps kind of re-look at a time in history because you know the mass media did a great job of, you know, marginalizing Tim

Kelly MacLean: As the “most dangerous man in America.”

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  And he played into that, certainly.  It’s also a cautionary tale for me, in terms of how I saw his life, but we’re all human doing the best we can and our lives are big arcs, you know?  We’re not just one thing. And he and Ram Dass together contributed a lot to what you and I as younger generations have gotten to benefit from …

Kelly MacLean: Absolutely.

Gay Dillingham: … Having the Eastern sensibilities – yoga, consciousness …

Kelly MacLean: Right. Well you have a line … Someone in your film says that like yanked us right out of the fifties, like a full stop, right?

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  And the entheogens, the psychedelics that are now being used more thoughtfully with research.  And how do we treat alcohol addiction? And how do we deal with end of life anxiety with [Inaudible – psilocybin?] mushrooms?  Over at NYU, they’re working on that.  A lot of important research is coming out again.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  Yeah. It’s amazing.  Even with ecstasy and that sort of thing.   Do you feel that psychedelics can be practiced for death or maybe a bardo experience?

Gay Dillingham: Well, I do because … Both for healing and for dying.  I mean if used consciously they can be a helpful tool for almost anything.  I mean that medicine helped me get through the devastation of my brother’s death, helped me come back to life in some ways, and I’ve never over done it.  It’s always been a very, you know …

Kelly MacLean: Right.  Like medicinal, not recreational?

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  In my earlier life it was an important thing to help me remember who I was in my heart and I never treated it recreationally.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  That’s probably the key.  Although they can also be self-limiting.

Gay Dillingham: [Inaudible] As we know, anything can be of use.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  Of course.  Have you had any other personal loss since your brother and since making this film?

Gay Dilingham: I dedicated the film to my brother and my father.

Kelly MacLean: Oh, right.

Gay Dillingham: Because my father also died.

Kelly MacLean: How was the loss of your father different after having … Had you done work on this film when your father passed away?

Gay Dillingham: That’s a good question.  Actually he died in ’97 and I’d filmed.  I had that original filming done, but I hadn’t started really editing yet, but I’m sure that was a large influence in why I kept coming back to the material.  But I also went and launched a couple of environmental technology companies. I worked for eight years in New Mexico under Governor Richardson, in charge of environmental management and consumer protection.  Went to North Korea and dealt with nuclear weapons issues. And I did keep coming back to this particular story and footage because what I said earlier – so much of our inability to come to real solutions for sustainable successful human experience comes down to that we’ve taken ourselves out of that circle, that place where nature lives, the circle of life and death …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: …  And so a lot of people knew me as something very different and here I am doing a film about two guys and psychedelics.

Kelly MacLean: Right.  That’s so interesting.  What do you feel like was the most important thing that you’ve learned from making that film?  I almost feel like it’s amazing that it took so long. You can kind of feel … It feels like a bottle of wine.  It has many layers to it, you know? It’s not just one story with one arc. It really … You get a real hit of the time and then maybe how it’s affected now, as well.

Gay Dillingham: Well it’s a labor of love and I think that this film made me as much as I made it.  And so I was fortunate enough that I was able to do this without a studio, you know, telling me when I had to be done or, you know, money partners that were demanding certain things.  It really was a gift and that’s why all of the layers are there because I had the time to go in and work with my own dream life to figure out what to do with the next part. And for me to sift through and feel all of those layers … Their relationship is also like a man and woman, you know?  In terms of how often we subjugate ourselves. And there just was so many entry points. Dying to know … What are we dying to know? And do we die in order to know? Who knows? And we’re dying to know more about these two people that were a big part of history that, you know, we only seem to know the media caricatures that were handed to us versus … So I have a particular beef with a lot of mainstream media because, you know, I’m more interested in the real human story – humanity.

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: And like I say, said earlier, about Ram, to see Timothy through the lens of Ram Dass’ love instead of judgment because we’re very good at just judging,

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: And then we chew up and spit out and we lose so much in that process.  So yeah … And the film and the story kept feeding me. I kept attracting really great helpers and allies and, you know?

Kelly MacLean: Do you think the film just wanted to happen?

Gay Dillingham: It did.  It wanted to happen. And then along comes a master storyteller like Robert Redford …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … Who generously, you know, not only narrated the film but sat with me with his notes towards the end of the edit and …

Kelly MacLean: Oh, wow.

Gay Dillingham: … And really helped me.

Kelly MacLean: Oh, well, that helps.  Get a little free Sundance advice.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.  I’d gotten kind of stuck and he helped me, graciously, get some material out, about six minutes, and restructured the end.  And just getting to know him – I have so much respect for him. I mean I had no idea. I did but I didn’t …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Can I touch you since you’ve touched Robert Redford?  He’s amazing.

Gay Dillingham: Oh, he’s so wonderful and humble and approachable and just … I was so lucky to get his time and attention and help.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Absolutely.  Well, I’m aware that we’re lucky to get your time and attention so we’ll wrap up soon because we’re nearing three but what do you feel like is the most important message in your film?  Like, what’s affecting people the most?

Gay Dillingham: Well, maybe I’ll answer that more than one way, but I just made this little image over here and I’ll give you one …

Kelly MacLean: Oh, goodie.

Gay Dillingham: Which is … It’s so hard to take these, you know, big personalities and their wisdom and life experience and boil it all down.  But if I boil it down, and they were good at boiling it down to bumper stickers, if you will, and then if I mash the two of them together, I came up with: “Be here now and think for yourself with unconditional love.”  So I’m trying to practice that …

Kelly MacLean: That’s great.

Gay Dillingham: … Because that seems to be pretty good.

Kelly MacLean: That’s a nutshell.  If you could just practice that you’d get a long way.

Gay Dillingham: Yeah.

Kelly MacLean: Was there anything in particular you thought Ram Dass taught Timothy in the end on the deathbed as a companion that was there with him?

Gay Dillingham: What he taught I think also was all the people that were around Timothy, a lot of young people were around him and living in the house …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … And uploading him onto the Internet.  Ram Dass was there helping coach them and guide them through how to be with a dying person, you know, “Don’t demand linearity.  Really speak positively about their life and their stories. And float with their consciousness. Just be present with them.” And it not only taught everyone around him but it helped steward or midwife that death out so that he had peace.  And it seemed like a pretty good death in the end, you know? He had cancer and he was in pain but he managed his pain, ironically. Timothy Leary, Mr. Drug or Acid King, managed his pain, and tried to hold onto as much consciousness as he was going out.

Kelly MacLean: Interesting.

Gay Dillingham: And at one point they were putting all … Every drug he took they were listing it and putting it on the Internet.  He got ‘Website of the Year’ the year he died, which was leary.com.

Kelly MacLean: Wow.

Gay Dillingham: So he was trying to be transparent.  And he was, you know, Tim was a public person, which most of us aren’t and don’t want to be.  So he kind of put it all out there, his warts and all. And so it was nice to have more of this vulnerability that he allowed me in on at the very end of his life.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: And then Zach, his son, his adopted son, but son, I mean lived with him longer than anybody, has been a very important part of this project.  Since we finished it he and I have been doing the social media really kind of engaging audiences all over the country and just trying to have these deeper conversations that we’re all dying to have.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah, absolutely.

Gay Dillingham: It’s hard to have, right?  Drugs, death.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  I feel like you and Zach are creating a really nice setting for the jewel of his teachings and also their evolving through the two of you, which is very cool to see.  So when you die …

Gay Dillingham: Oh, yeah.  Well, I don’t want to talk about that.  I’m not going to die.

Kelly MacLean: What’s your greatest personal wish for when you die?

Gay Dillingham: That’s a very good question.  That I’ve practiced so much love and my heart is so full and at such peace and those around me are in the same space that … Like, I’ve watched Ram Dass practice unconditional love now for long enough that I think he’s actually living in that place now. Nothing comes over night.  So I’m just hoping that I can be even close to that, you know, and be prepared at any moment, which means really living in a place of love …

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: … And that kind of sounds so trite or so simple but it’s really not.

Kelly MacLean: It’s not.

Gay Dillingham: It’s not.

Kelly MacLean: It’s not if you mean it.

Gay Dillingham: Even to ‘be here now’ is so hard in this day and age.

Kelly MacLean: Absolutely.

Gay Dillingham: I didn’t realize the ‘be here now’ part of the message was going to be such an important part of the film …

Kelly MacLean: Right.

Gay Dillingham: … Because here we are on all of our devices all of the time being distracted and [Inaudible] from ourselves.  

So there’s a lot going on upstairs, isn’t there?  They’re having a fun time.

Kelly MacLean: They’re alive.  But what better thing to jolt you out of the auto-pilot of life that can happen – the greyness of feeling a little bit invincible – than death, right?

Gay Dillingham: Right.  Right. Yeah.  So love while you can because you don’t know how long that person or that is going to be in your world.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Well I’m very grateful that you spoke with us today and also that you made this film because obviously it’s the purpose of our site – to try and proliferate the same message.  And yeah … At the heart basically same message. Totally different story line, yet same message of bringing, welcoming death back into the fabric of our culture and re-highlighting the whole circle of life, as you said.  And this film feels like a really powerful way that its being done, so thank you.

Gay Dillingham: Well thank you for being a wise young woman who’s interested in these things and skillfully telling stories and talking to people and doing this service for all of us.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.  Well, like you, I had death sort of jump in my tracks, you know, and I would give anything to have my brother back but I wouldn’t give anything to not be so kind of shaken to the core by the reality of death at the same time so …

Gay Dillingham: What was your brother’s name?

Kelly MacLean: His name was Andrew.

Gay Dillingham: Andrew.

Kelly MacLean: Yeah.

Gay Dillingham: My brother’s name was Matt.

Kelly MacLean: Matt.

Gay Dillingham: And I married an Andrew.

Kelly MacLean: Oh, you did?  

Gay Dillingham: So to Andrew and Matt.

Kelly MacLean: To Andrew and Matt.  Thank you.

Comments