The longer I travel this byway, that is traveled by many, I’m learning that the road controls me more than I would like for it to. Walking this path, I come across varied sceneries. Sometimes the landscape is calming with rolling hills, flourishing with growth and life….it’s alive. At other times, the view is less welcoming; it’s almost menacing. Darkness abounds and the life I just witnessed a few feet before has lost any semblance of vitality. Trees seem to be reaching and groping to pull me into the gloominess using their spindly branches like arms to grab me…not wanting to let go. I get stuck on this path quite often. I try to break free from the blackness that grips me, but it almost imprisons me, not only emotioanlly, but spiritually, mentally, and physically as well. What I have learned is that this journey is teaching me to dance….between two worlds….between existences….between the here and the there…..wherever there might be.
This dance is a delicate one at times, but at others it’s a violent dance of will and defeat; of mind over matter; of now and then; of reality and what I wish to be; of life and death. The dance began the day he left this world. Now, I have never been a good dancer, but this new form of masquerade is one in which I am completely unfamiliar. This is one of an emotional and spiritual dance. One where I am learning to balance living in this world, but wanting to experience my loved one in their new world. It’s a constant sway between both worlds; almost a battle of which world has the strongest pull on the heart, soul, and the mind. It’s almost like a tug of war with your mind and your heart….”God please don’t let this be real….I can’t believe this has happened!” You go from, ” My son is dead to….this has to be nightmare….this can’t happen to my family.” It’s a dance between being here and present with our loved ones that are left and being caught in that moment frozen in time….the day he died.
I’m currently dancing a delicate balance between trying to be cognizant of those I have left with me and remembering the good, and at other times, the bad about Aaron’s short life on this Earth. If I were completely honest, I would say that there are a multitude of feelings and ideas that I pirouette with on a daily basis. It’s almost a daily battle with ideations that twirl in my mind. Despite the ideas that swirl through my head….I dance each and every day with a different set of thoughts, ideas, and feelings. So each day’s dance is unique to the day before. You never now which existence or world with which you will be dancing from day to day.
As I said, I am definitely no dancer…no smooth moves….no rhythm actually. I would be one of those that was singled out because of their lack of rhythm. Therefore, I have never been one to expose this lack of skill to a large group of people. Even in this new state of dance that I find myself, I continue to be reserved to show my dance moves to others. This type of dance exposes me and my raw feelings even more than a physical dance. In a physical dance, I can laugh and act goofy about my ability to perform. In this state of dance, I leave myself, my thoughts and my feelings exposed for all to see. And that kind of dance isn’t often well perceived by our society. But when we experience a close loss, we have to be willing to let others see us in our dance, which can be very uncomfortable for both the grieving anand the non-grieving.
it is my goal to bridge that gap with my son as the example. Aaron loved music with a passion and he loved to dance like no one was watching. He let every inhibition go when he was dancing. He got lost in the music, unconcerned about those around him. I used to get frustrated with his ability to do that….but what a freeing experience that would be….not to worry at all about what others think at all about your choice of movements. The happiness he experienced while lost in the music was plastered on his face with the most beautiful smile. He forgot about everything in that moment….his struggles….his battles…..everything that controlled and troubled his mind was repressed. He had found an outlet that gave him peace.
The last few weeks have been a real struggle for me and for my daughter. But as I sit on my porch this afternoon, hearing the birds chirp, feeling the fall air brush against my skin, and viewing the pure blue of the autumn sky, I am reminded of Aaron’s. passion, his smile, and his ability dance. He danced despite what others thought, because it brought him peace. My dance hasn’t yet brought me much peace, but I’m hoping that through sauntering with my grief and the worlds between which I now exist that some kind of peace will eventually find me.
What is my outlet? I don’t know yet, but for today, I was able for a little while able to focus on Aaron’s intense spirit and his zeal for living life to its fullest. So, today, peace found me if only for a little in my dance with his loss and his life.