Dance with Santa

So many things make sense to me since Susanna crossed over. Nothing makes you more human than joining the universal community of the bereaved, I get that now. People who chase and escape death by daredevil sports, I get that. Celebrities who adopt children in unusual numbers, I get that. They do not want to ever run out of family. I especially get sad older people now. Never again will I judge anyone who spends the end of their life feeling sad because of all of their loss. The sad, the crazy, those with a devil-may care attitude, more than ever my people.
I have often called Susanna my best friend. My quiet and solitary nature was never more understood by another. I so miss when we would go to the playground, the four of us, and she would tell me she wanted to go home with me. We would leave her dad and brother to play whatever sport and go home where I would make her a bowl of macaroni and cheese and we would watch Dora. (I want to do exactly that in heaven someday). One time we were getting ready to go to some kind of community party. She wanted to wear a formal party dress, as usual, and I asked her if it would not be comfortable to play with the kids in the gym. She said, “I’m not going to play. I am going to sit with you.” And she did.
So when your best friend dies, it becomes part of your job to keep alive the important revelations they whisper in your ear in whatever honorable way you can think of. Once, I think it was way into last spring, she confided something from her past she had been thinking about. “Remember Mommy,” she said, “when we went to see Santa Claus at the party, and I was too shy to dance? Next time, I am going to dance. I’m not too shy anymore”. Christmas has now come and gone. I ache with emptiness when I see a dance floor.
These past few days I think there may be very few people who want to get out of bed less than me. The weather is now officially staying cold. I dreamt before I woke up that this was not the beginning of winter, but midsummer, and I once again had to greet the reality of today’s reality. I have two new pairs of flannel pajama pants. They forgive the extra pounds I have been ballooning, perhaps due to hypothyroidism (still under investigation, but my system is somehow eschew). I want to wear one T-shirt which says “It’s a Medical Issue, Not Ice Cream” and another one which says “I Do Not Always Control When I Cry”. But I need to not only be here and awake, I need to keep alive Susanna’s bravery. I need to sort out my feelings in my own time and make a plan, a bit ahead of time, to overcome my fears so I do not miss out on things. Because I am here. I am a big believer in a Soul Contract. I have work to do, and am determined that my son and all of the people in my life will see me go on instead of crawl back into bed. Someday we will all move on, like Susanna, and put to use the kind of resolve she had to dance with Santa. No good deeds and intentions are ever lost, and no brave decisions. So go grab life, as soon as you can, in the way you can.

By trishfreer

Mother, writer, artist and teacher grappling with grief and loss.

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