We always end up in the same place – standing alone in the center of the universe – truly alone.
It is the play I wrote as I imagined the need to hold my wife Susan as she was supposed to succumb to her breast cancer. An end, as hard as it was, with beauty and dignity, of an elegant good-bye.
The first performance evoked a response that was not anticipated. “Beautify and dignity, you say.” Wrote a reviewer. “What about the shop owner shot in the throat gurgling blood as he lies dying on the street? His wife and kids at home. Where is the beauty and dignity in that?”
A provocative and difficult question. It helped me understand more deeply the meaning of the work I had written. The ritual – the actual dance – of losing someone we love happens no matter how the loss occurs. One is the elegant version –the chance to hold and be present for the person you love. Then there is, in effect, the phone call. The chaplain knocking at the door. News on television of the shooting at the grade school where your child is a student.
The “dance” -- if you will – still happens. In each case, we come to terms with the most difficult moment or event in our lives. Confronting the loss of someone we love in the world more than anything else. It is just different. We always end up in the same place – standing alone in the center of the universe – truly alone. Here is the poem I wrote and have now edited. It was written first in 2012.
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