By Elsie K. Neufeld
Paperback by means of Elsie okay. Neufeld. On behalf of herself and all mourners, Elsie okay. Neufeld recalls her brother, stocks her tears, strives to forgive, and asks the place within the darkness God dances.
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Extra resources for Dancing in the Dark: A Sister Grieves
I wince as I look again at the coffin. This cannot, cannot be. Our family is calm once more. But only briefly. Now my mother rises and stands before the coffin. She begins to pray in German, in a quivering but remarkably strong voice. "Oh, God, you have given us the gift of John. We thank you for his earthly life, and now we offer him back to you. We ask for strength. " With that, she motions us to follow. We stand and, one at a time, follow her out of that place into the cold, dark, rainy night to our cars.
Oh John, is this really true? How can this be? I talked to you just yesterday. I slowly wandered through the house, looking, look- Page 34 ing. He was not there. Nobody here, just evidence of recent inhabitance. In the kitchen, a potful of alphabet soup stood on the stove, a dirty bowl beside it. An opened newspaper lay on the living room floor. On a table beside the stereo stood a family portrait, a picture of John with my two boys, and a transformer airplane. A guitar case lay on the floor. In his bedroom lay his suitcase, open, but not yet unpacked.
We come without an invitation. We do our task without permission. We enter John's most private world, a place where only a few had ever visited. It doesn't take as long as expected. John's house is small. John's identity hadn't rested primarily on his possessions, though they offered clues. The boxes of tapes, records, music books, and novels easily outnumber those containing linens and dishes. And one box alone isn't enough to contain the many letters, cards, and pictures. They fall out of books and pockets, suitcases and guitar case, drawers and closets.