Dancing in the Dark: A Sister Grieves by Elsie K. Neufeld

By Elsie K. Neufeld

Paperback by means of Elsie ok. Neufeld. On behalf of herself and all mourners, Elsie okay. Neufeld recollects her brother, stocks her tears, strives to forgive, and asks the place within the darkness God dances.

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For that I shall ever be grateful to them. "I love you guys," I say. We embrace. How long can one night be? Long. Beyond imagination. Marg and Ernie left. m. Afterward, Walt and I sat riveted, each frozen in our own thoughts. Crazy thoughts. I looked down and realized my housecoat was wide open. If only, I thought, if only I had Page 29 remembered to close my housecoat, maybe then it wouldn't have hurt so much. Maybe then the wound would not have gone so deep. Maybe then I could have kept my blood inside.

But this time, for some reason, I had abandoned it and joined the two of them upstairs. Now, as I sat writing a list of friends to call, I saw him sitting in the rocking chair, head leaned back, a glass in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Are you here, John? Where are you, John? ARE YOU SLEEPING? ARE YOU SLEEPING, BROTHER JOHN? Page 31 2 The Sting of Death February 23, 1988 What shall I recount tonight, as I listen to Mozart's Requiem? Which part shall be the least painful? And how can I say any of it adequately?

Inside, I thought I'd go mad that night. Outside, I worked hard to keep my inside in, to make my body a dike against a raging tide. Is that how people go crazy, by turning inside out? I didn't let go, though that might have been easier than facing the storm. Instead, I walked around the house, always ending in front of the family portrait, where John's face sat alone in the bottom, left-hand corner. Away from the rest of usforever now. "Why? Why? " I ask Walt over and over, speaking into his chest.

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