Grief Work

The father of my many children died two days before Christmas.  I was pissed off for a while-not that he decided to die but the timing—it’ll just always be there–thet’s what happend when momentous events happen near the big holidays–so pissed I was–then I remembered anger is part of grieving–oh, yeah, there’s that.  I thought I’d finished grieving this man–some quarter of a century ago–but I was wrong–often am -wrong that is–so here come the big waves –thats how grief comes–like waves, and not necessarily with warnings–So . . .got thru the formalities, services, family stuff . . .made it back home to familiar life—thinking it was behind me—Then I went back to dance at the practica–I’d been gone maybe two weeks . . .I changed my shoes and sat by the floor watching the dancers–Gina saw me and came over right away to greet me–bringing her caring smile, her dance partner–and my friend, Mr.Stan.  Somehow she just knew—sitting by me she  hugged me and asked, “How are you doing?”  Words seem superfluous.  Big wave, there it is . . . .after a bit Mr. Stan offers his hand and for the next half hour he doesn’t let me go–but holds  me in that sweet, confident tango embrace—no fancy moves today–no improv play, no jazz . . . not this day–no. Just a kind of holding and rocking and comforting.  Then–in a breath- the practica was over and I realized I’d been in therapy–dance therapy for the last half hour. “Stan, ” I said, smiling the best thank-you smile I could muster, “I dub you my minister of dance,”  because you have been ministering to me today.  Thank you.”   He smiled, with an understanding in those twinking eyes that only a brother in faith shares.   I’ve been dancing all my life and thought I’d seen it all — but this day I learned something new about the healing potential of tango. I feel blessed.  No–I am blessed.


About tangobunny

Pastor Bunny went on sabbatical leave to Argentina July 28-November 4, 2010, funded by a pastoral renewal grant from the Lily Foundation. It was her second visit to AR. Since then she's been back three more times and toured the country. She loves the Argentine people as much as the tango and calls Argentina her other home.
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