Life, Death, and Dancing

I’ve gotten so used to living my uncoupled life, that I seldom stop anymore to think of what has happened to get me where I am, and yet, this past week, I did marvel at the strangeness of it all.

If Jeff hadn’t died . . .

If I hadn’t gone to take care of my nonagenarian father . . .

If I hadn’t stopped by a dance studio to inquire about classes . . .

And so there I was, all last week, in rehearsals for dance performances that would take place on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Me? Rehearsals? Dance performance? Remarkable.

This might not seem strange to people who have only known me in the post-Jeff phase of my life where I have become rather adventuresome in a small sort of way, but before that, I lived a quiet life, a bookish life. I have always tried new things and looked for challenges, but never have I gone so far out of myself as I have in these solitary years. I suppose it makes sense — all comfort died with Jeff, so it doesn’t make that much difference if I am comfortable or not.

Oddly, though, I was perfectly comfortable performing this weekend, though I still remember how hard it was in the beginning to push through the discomfort and be able to even think about dancing in front of a crowd.

(I’m second from the left, costumed for “Rejoice” from The Wiz.)

I sometimes wonder what the person I was all those years ago would think about the future she is living, but I’m glad she didn’t know. It’s taken many painful years to get to this point, and it was probably better that she didn’t see what was before her.

I should remember this when I worry about the future. Back then, I couldn’t know what my life would be like eight years in the future, so any worry would have been wasted. And perhaps it is the same now. In eight years, my life could be so different, that any worrying I do today would be wasted.

For me, then, the moral is to take each day as it comes while trying to go beyond what is comfortable, and to enjoy any accomplishments that might ensue.

All that and dancing, too!


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels UnfinishedMadame ZeeZee’s Nightmare, Light BringerMore Deaths Than OneA Spark of Heavenly Fireand Daughter Am IBertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Life, Death, and Dancing”

  1. Constance Says:

    Pat you look like a dancer. All of you look great! Good photo.
    Thank you for the turtles.

  2. Heather Foldessy Says:

    You just put a huge smile on my face!

  3. Treve Brown Says:

    Great photo Pat, sounds like you’re doing well!! Still delighted to help in any way I can with the book idea, just let me know. Love from England!

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I need a week or so to recuperate from the trip and the dancing, but then I’ll start going through blog posts to get ideas for the book. For sure I’ll let you know as I need help!

  4. Terry Jean Allard Says:

    The statement “all comfort died with Jeff, so it doesn’t make that much difference if I am comfortable or not” is one I can relate to as a three year widow. I am grateful for what I do have, try to avoid self-pity and do function well enough to have tried a few new things;however, since Ron’s death, many things and people just do not matter the way they once did. I am likely to say “whatever” to either accomplishments or disappointments.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      So true on the accomplishments and disappointments. I’ve done a lot of things that were great at the time, but as soon as they were over, it was as if I’d never done them — they seemed to have made no difference to my life. I wonder if this is what life is, but we don’t feel it until we’ve lived on the edge of the abyss.

  5. Terry Jean Allard Says:

    Fair question…they (whoever the hell that is) say suffering a great loss makes a person grow. I have tried to maintain myself as loving,dependable,supportive to my adult children and grandchildren so the legacy of my marriage to Ron will not be me falling apart and wrecking their lives by being a physical or emotional burden. i suppose I have grown in gathering a bag of tricks to pull that off. I think I make a difference in their lives and I do get much back from all of them;however,the missing my husband never stops as the loss is irreplaccceable, so pretty much any disappointment or accomplishment is a “whatever” since neither bring him back. Oddly, I am not sad all the time, I don’t fight the grief to much anymore, I know it will be there and greet it with “whatever”.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Grief does become a “whatever”. If grief is active, so what — it just is. If it isn’t active, if there is no sadness and pain, the separation is still there and will always be there. Yeah, whatever. . .

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