Monday, April 7, 2008

Dancing with Mr. Death

I've had more deaths in my short life than most people decades older.

My best friend, Elisabeth; my parents; and my little baby girl.

I don't understand the myth of "movin' on" if you pack your emotions, memories, love, and inexplicable pain away in a suitcase, neatly on a shelf...turn the lock so someone doesn't accidentally open it...and to believe that would actually work.

Marcel Proust said that to heal from a suffering, one must experience it in full. 

And when done this way, when I completely surrendered to and immersed myself in the grief, I understood the world in a different way. I knew that I would never be the same...and that the relationships I had with them had changed. I knew that I would come out of it one day, on the other side of Hades. 

I've been to the abyss with Death and even played cards with Him, gambling the only thing I thought I had left. And here I am, 13 years later...happiness doesn't elude me anymore and He and I no longer dance. I won't dance with Him for a long time's not my turn anymore, damnit.

Now, I know and I understand that Death could not end those precious relationships. He just isn't that big. Here is my thumb, Mr D.

I'm grateful for that. I wouldn't have it any other way...

"Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well."     ~Henry Scott Holland

1 comment:

Jane said...


I read your Dear Cheyenne book back in 1997 when I lost my daughters. My daughter's names were Amber and Cheyenne.

I, like you, have faced more death than many people will in their life time. I have lost both parents (one to doctor error and one to cancer), two children (to prematurity), my best friend (and her husband and children to murder), my niece (to murder), my brother-in-law (to suicide), and my OB/GYN who delivered my daughters (to suicide by cop). I lost all these people by the time I was 35.

I know I am a changed person. I know I am a stronger person.

Thanks for your continued work and sharing.



The soul still sings in the darkness telling of the beauty she found there; and daring us not to think that because she passed through such tortures of anguish, doubt, dread, and horror, as has been said, she ran any the more danger of being lost in the night. Nay, in the darkness did she, rather, find herself.

--St. John, Dark Night of the Soul

Follow me on Facebook