The Actual Dance is a play that presents the events of the year 2000 from the point of view of the spouse of the woman going through breast cancer. From diagnosis to her life as a survivor, Susan Simon, my wife has endured. An unlikely survivor. The Actual Dance is the story of that experience from my perch. The husband. This the 4th year of my October daily blogs, my focus is a bit more on myself
Day 27: Love “I now understand that The Actual Dance will be the ultimate consummation of our love.” The Actual Dance
Yesterday I talked about how during Susan’s breast cancer treatments, double mastectomy and difficult recovery, that I was transformed and began to understand “what love really means.” The idea of Susan and I having grown into a single soul – “each and equal half of the other.”
It took however a visit to the psychiatrist I had seen off-and-on for the past 20 years to wake me up to the realization that there is a privilege –a gift – embedded in having the opportunity to hold the one you love most in the world as they take their last breath.
It seemed and seems unimaginable to hold and hug and breathe with the person you love as they take their last breath. My mind saw – experienced – that moment as an orchestra playing ‘our song’ as we are dancing the dance we select – a waltz – and when the moment comes, Susan evaporates into a wisp of cloud into God’s arms.
When the psychiatrist called this a metaphor and said it was beautiful I was transformed. It was like an on-switch. All sudden I understood that it was the ultimate gift or privilege to do this: The line – the climax of the show – is this:
"Now I understand that The Actual Dance will be the ultimate consummation of our love.”
On this day, with the tragedy at a Synagogue in Pennsylvania, I am also reminded that not everyone is so privileged. There are tragic losses that happen, and we learn by a telephone call or the appearance at our door of a chaplain. A blog for tomorrow. Today, I reflect on the realization I was prepared to do what I considered unimaginable and understood it as the ultimate consummation of our love.
Stat of the Day: A study in England found there is a 30 per cent increase in mortality among men grieving for the loss of a wife, while there was such increase among women who were grieving for the loss of a husband.
Task of the Day. Watch the move Ghost. Today and again tomorrow. Over and over and over. I have done so more times than I can count.
Resource of the Day: There are many resources about how to be with someone as they take their last breath. Here and here
The Actual Dance: Performances Donate