Tag Archive | healing

dancing through a season of grief, part 2

In February, I first wrote about how I am dancing through a season of grief. Last week, the seventh anniversary of my daughter’s death rolled in quickly like a thunderstorm and faded away just as fast.

When I showed up for rehearsal on Friday night, another mom, who has also lost a child, asked me how I was doing, knowing that the previous day had been my daughter’s heaven day.  I had been with my two oldest children for an event at our state capitol since early that morning so I hadn’t had any time to myself until the ride to the studio just then. I had started to cry on the way over so I didn’t really know how rehearsal would go. My friend said that she didn’t know how I could work with this song so much. I said I had always been ok at class and rehearsal, but I really had no idea what would happen that night since I was definitely fragile.

I had a hard time getting through I Can Only Imagine. My body just felt so heavy. The same for How Great Thou Art. I was thankful to sit down while they ran through a song that I wasn’t in. I got out some tissues and just took some deep breaths trying to make sure my silent tears stayed quiet.

When it was time to rehearse I Can Only Imagine again, I just couldn’t get up off the floor. It was actually nice to watch the dance since I had never done that before.  Sooooooooo lovely! But I felt so alone. I resisted the urge to gather my things and leave. It took effort on my part to just stay. I got up for the next song, but I couldn’t lift my eyes. I was still trying to hold back tears. Miss Ballet Teacher kept telling me to lift my eyes, but I couldn’t. She was probably thinking, what is going on with this girl?

Finally, rehearsal was over. This was the first time that I didn’t enjoy myself. Even though it is challenging and hard, I always find the dance enjoyable. When I pulled out of my parking spot, I only got a few feet before the sobs came, so I parked again. I found the song You Raise Me Up on my iPod and put it on continuous play, listening to it until I felt it was safe for me to drive home.

joy really does come in the morning

I lay in bed the next morning, thinking about how much better I felt than the evening before. I was thankful and prayed that the lightness in my spirit would remain. And it did. Conditioning class and then rehearsal went great–or at least in my heart, they went great. I’m just a beginner, you know.

dancing through a season of grief

When I told my mom that I’d be dancing to a song about heaven, she asked me if I’d be able to handle it. Be able to get through it. I think she was/is worried that I’ll break down. I’m pretty confident that’s not going to happen, but if it does, I’ll be surrounded by people who can help me off stage, bring me a box of kleenex, and put their arms around me.

A few of my friends said that they would cry through the whole thing. I’m going to let you all have your tears and thank you for them! For fans of CCM, it’s a popular song. A powerful song. Many have attended a funeral where it’s been sung.

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine.   ~lyrics by Mercy Me

This song was sung at the funeral of my friend Beth who died of cancer at age 36. I always think of her when I hear this song on the radio. But before I heard it at her funeral, every note, every word had been burned on my heart…it was one of the songs that had helped me after my daughter died unexpectedly at age two. The only thing that has made losing a child bearable is the confidence that I have she is singing and dancing with the angels in heaven, worshiping at the feet of Jesus.

So I love songs about heaven.

“Dancing through a season of grief.” That’s the title of this blog post. I called it that because this is my season of grief whose beginning is always marked by the daffodils breaking through the frozen ground in my front yard.  That happened this week. My daughter’s birthday is this weekend. Then her heaven day is right around the corner–a week before the dance performance. My daughter died Easter week so the anniversary of her death is always marked twice for me since Easter floats around and isn’t a fixed holiday like others. So the performance is sandwiched between those two “heaven” days.

So how has this been for me so far?  Fine. Part of it is that at rehearsal, I’m just so concentrated on learning the choreography that I don’t have time to be consumed by grief. One night,I  put the song on with no intention of feeling anything and just started sobbing. But that was once. Don’t know if it will happen again.

Stay tuned. I’m not just dancing to Mercy Me’s, I can Only Imagine. I’ll be dancing to two songs. More on that later.