Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dancing In the Rain

I have used the quote “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain” in some of the speeches I give at Compassionate Friends National Conferences since 2008 because the image of a storm is a good analogy in understanding our grief and moving forward.

I relate this quote to coping techniques. I talk about such things as making sure you do something for yourself, having a positive attitude, and laughing again. I recently read an interpretation of this quote in a Michigan chapter Compassionate Friends newsletter (no authorship was given for the interpretation) but I thought it worthy of telling my readers this one analogy and see what you think.

Storms can come out of nowhere, like a tornado, seemingly destroying everything in its path and leaving our lives in complete and utter shambles. The darkness and dreariness stay, while lightning continues to flash, stabbing our heart with pain. Thunder clamors constantly, reminding us that our children are gone. The wind howls, imitating our screams and wailing. The rain seems to be endless.

Those who haven’t lost children, who are living in sunshine, cry out to us, “Come in, out of the rain.” They don’t understand that often we’re not able to move. The storm has become our world, for however long we need or choose to live there. But, we do have a choice. We can stay hunkered down under the false protection of denial. We can lock ourselves up in a protective shell and never come out. Or, we can learn to dance in the rain.

However, each bereaved parent must decide what feels best to them. This anonymous author finds herself thinking, “It’s hard to crawl, walk or breathe without my child, and she wants me to dance? I realize she’s not referring to my ability when the child says, ‘Dance, Mom, dance. Dance in the rain. Dance  because you can’t change what has already been done . You have the choice to sit it out or dance. Listen for the music, keep your eyes wide open, go forward, follow the music and dance. Follow me. I am not behind you. I am in front of you. I’m free and I am dancing.’ ”

This child taught her mother to hear the music and her song continues on. “Without it, I couldn’t dance," she says.

If we allow our children to lead us to dance in the rain, they will eventually dance us out of the storms of pain and into the sunshine of peace.

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