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Death: A Tight Shoe Taken Off So You Can Find A New Way To Dance

Death: A Tight Shoe Taken Off So You Can Find A New Way To DanceLast year, seven of my lifelong friends made their transition back to the greater dimensions of the universe.

One very young and the rest spread across a time line of decades. Each lived a spectacular life. You might say that each died with a grin on his or her face because they squeezed everything out of life, every minute of the day and every day of the years they lived on this amazing green globe out in the middle of the ink-black of the universe.

Each loved this thing called “living.” Each gave his or her best during their journey. All of them added to my life beyond measure.

But I must share with you that I felt a huge emotional hole blasted through the center of my heart, mind and spirit. I ached for months without any way of alleviating the pain. It’s different kind of “pain” losing a friend to the Grim Reaper. One day you’re talking to your friend or sharing lunch, and the next, you can’t shake hands or call up on the phone—because they no longer exist in that bag of flesh called a “mobile home” while they maneuvered around this planet.

Two years ago, my younger brother died of a heart attack and my other brother suffered a stroke. He lived. But, it shook me up.

How do you handle death when it comes knocking at your door, especially the passing of a loved one or pet?

At one memorial service, my old Army buddy Archie said, “Well Frosty, if we live long enough, we’ll keep going to these funerals until we too are the main attraction.”

“Yeah, Arch,” I lamented. “You’re such a comfort.”

The fact remains, death knows no comfort. It visits at unexpected times. It descends on you from out of the blue. It rushes at you like a blind messenger from friends or a phone call.

When I was 17, my father’s best friend drove up to me in the parking lot, “Frosty, I don’t know how to say this, but your father died umpiring the Albany High School baseball game. He suffered a heart attack and fell over dead on home plate.”

Needless to say, death visited me early. It continued during the Vietnam War. Today, in my later years, it visits once again. One of my 50-year-old buddies died skiing down a ski run. With his son last summer, we climbed 14,200-foot Mt. Eolus and spread John’s ashes to the four winds of the universe. I wept uncontrollably as I spoke his eulogy.

Another friend, suffering from cancer, called me on Sunday to get back with him. I listened to his phone message on Monday, but a friend emailed me that he died 30 minutes before I picked up his recorded message. I felt vacant for days.

So what can we gain from our friends’ passing. What can we do about it? How do we incorporate the pain? How do we recover?

My preacher gave a series of sermons on death this summer. Dr. Roger Teel, www.milehichurch.org, August 24, “Beyond the Veil” series on death, you can stream the series. He said, “Death is like a tight shoe taken off so you can find a new way to dance.”

Indeed, the loved one who died moves into a new dance with the universe. His or her spirit dances with the stars, on the water or in the deep forests. They release beyond the realm of physical living into something we can only know when we too take our leave of this planet.

What I am saying: everyday, appreciate your friends, loved ones and pets with a conscious awareness of the miracle of fellowship and sharing. Relish those moments you share lunch, dinner or a movie with a friend or stranger. Shake hands and hug with all your heart. Take your girl out dancing or to a movie. Enjoy that first kiss or amazing road trip. Laugh your guts out at a comedy. Cry your eyes out at a chick flick. Gift them with your own joy and enthusiasm. They gift you with theirs.

Because one day, they will depart. One day they will vanish from your life. One day you will take the same trip. Make sure you filled your eternal suitcase with laughter, friendships, spectacular moments, highs and lows, and a sense that you lived your life with gratitude, energy and enthusiasm. So, when it comes your time to learn that new dance, you may hit the universe’s dance floor with a smile on your face. Vaya con Dios.

Read more posts by Frosty Wooldridge here. Frosty is a blogger for JenningsWire.


JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.