The Universe certainly does move in mysterious ways…
Let me first confess that I’ve been participating in some mental torture over the last week. Last weekend I got a really bad sunburn (remember the stinky pile of poo?) For the first several days, the physical discomfort had all of my attention. Once that began to calm, emotional discomfort took hold and I was ready to crawl out of my skin – quite literally! It took a couple days for me to admit to myself what was going on…
It’s almost exactly a year ago since my friend Evie was killed in a fire. I’ve shied away from the word “murder” for the last year, but that’s what happened. I’ve never been angry at the man who did this – it seems obvious to me that he was mentally unhinged. My fear and anger and horror has been centered on Evie’s experience – those three days when she lay in the hospital, hanging between life and death.
This week, as my skin burned and scabbed and flaked, I kept coming back to one thought – this is so uncomfortable, but it’s absolutely NOTHING compared to the horror that Evie went through. Every time, I made myself a little nauseous. I know that I was doing it to myself, but I was having a really hard time breaking free of the cyclical thoughts.
On Saturday afternoon, I finally said it out loud to my mom. That was the first step in breaking the cycle. She reminded me that Evie was heavily sedated and didn’t feel much at all. I also remembered that her family was playing her favorite music for her through those days. Evie was a passionate circle dancer and her daughter was wise enough to reach out to the circle dance community and gather that music to play as a final gift for her mother.
Here’s where the Universe stepped in to give me exactly the healing I needed – I have an assignment for the newspaper (isn’t that always the way?!) about a group of people who sing at the bedsides of people who are dying.
I attended their rehearsal tonight and talked with them for about an hour as they shared incredible stories. I could hear the story writing itself in my head.
Then they looked at me eagerly and said, “Can we sing for you now?” I was as excited as they were!
They stood up, formed a circle and said, “Sit in the middle.”
So I sat in the middle of these 16 healers, with their voices directed at me. They sang songs of healing, joy, death and life.
As I sat in the circle, I thought of Evie. I remembered the music her daughter played for her. I realized that whatever physical awareness she might have had, the music would have swept her away. Because in the presence of every other kind of drama, Evie gave herself over completely to the music and the dancing.
To Barb, Suzanne, and the whole Continua group – thank you. I had no idea when I walked through the door tonight that it would be such a healing experience. You are a blessing and a miracle.
I recorded our conversation tonight and then left the tape running while they sang. Here’s a little bit of what I heard in their rehearsal…
Crossing The Bar (sung by a quintet, as they would sing it at a bedside):
I’ll Fly Away (sung by the full group, as they sing in their rehearsal):
Image found here.