I want to say something about the Dance of Grief. “If you stumble, make it part of the dance”. I don’t know whose quote that is, but I like it. In grief, you are likely to stumble many times over. You won’t have a choreographer to guide you. You are unlikely to have a teacher to lead you, and to show you the way.
The thing is, the audience, the world outside your head, doesn’t usually know the steps in your personal dance routine. In the dance of grief, there are many new steps you must learn. You will stumble over and over, because it’s a hard and painful routine to learn. The “audience” may not realize you are stumbling so much, though. They may also sometimes have expectations that you perform in a way you don’t want to. They mean well, but it’s your dance. You can’t dance someone else’s dance, and they can’t dance yours. Nobody else can tell you what moves to make, what emotions to feel when you are dancing, or what expression to wear on your face. The smile you wear when you are dancing your grief dance, may not be what you are feeling inside.
Now, here’s another reality! If you dance the same old routine for a very long time, your mind and body may get stuck in that routine. To learn a new one, you must decide you want to, and must begin to practice changing things up. It’s your choice and must happen in your time frame. There will still be stumbling, but the satisfaction and joy that will ultimately come from learning even a few new steps, let alone a whole new dance routine, will be amazing. Life has pain, but the constant in life is change.
Sometimes we sink into a state of grief and stay there for so long, that it becomes just too “comfortable” and familiar. Grief begins to fit you like a glove that has slowly softened, and has molded itself to fit the shape of your hand. You may be reluctant to remove this glove, even when you don’t really need it, or when it impedes you. If that’s the case, you will miss out on so very much.
I wish for you all a lightening of this grief, a loosening of the tight glove you wear in sorrow, so that light and life can find its way in to your heart once again.