Jeannie Bruenning Author

Dancing on Graves

Mourning is part of life. It’s an emotion we have been given. Sometimes, however, we get stuck there. Like the old LP records that skip or a DVD that is scratched, we relive a few words over and over. Even worse, we are frozen on one frame.

I’ve realized that there are different types of graves; some graves hold lost dreams, broken promises, bad relationships, and unrealistic expectations. It’s not easy to move from mourning disappointment to dancing. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to put on dancing shoes, turn on the music, and dance. There are many of these graves that I’ve never danced upon.

I was sitting at a stop light and randomly recalled a recipe that my Aunt Meryle had made every holiday. It made me smile; it made me mourn her passing. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps Dancing on Graves doesn’t always mean we are done with mourning, for some who have meant so much to us, we will do both for a long time.

I think it’s time to create my own cemetery. It will contain the graves stones of those who have passed. It will also contain graves of lost dreams, disappointments, unreal expectations, and a few unmarked graves for when shit just happens. There will be a large maple tree shading a beautiful bench overlooking the cemetery and the ocean beyond. Tied to the bench will be dancing shoes.

Some days I will sit, looking over all that has passed and mourn, and some days I will dance. I will find those graves that are stuck in a single frame of life, stomp a few times and get the music playing. Mourning and dancing rarely happen at the same time; but when mourning turns into dancing, they create a beautiful rhythm that keeps us moving forward through life.

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