Then, sometime in the early 2000s, I was looking at a list of suggestions for infant memorials on a random website. One of the songs suggested for playing at the service was “The Dance.” I listened to the song again reframing it in the light of infant loss, and suddenly the song took on new meaning for me. “The Dance” became the story of the love between a parent and a child who was never going to grow up. The song described a very different kind of lost love.
That new perspective on "The Dance" left me wondering about my own experience of my daughter, Rebecca, who died at birth in 1999. I questioned whether I would have chosen the path I had walked if I had been given the choice. Would I have rather never been pregnant with her if I had known what the outcome would be? The lyrics state, “Holding you, I held everything/ For a moment, wasn't I a king?/… I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance.” I truly only held my daughter for moments—just hours—yet I’d do almost anything to have a few more hours to hold her again. I definitely could have foresaken the agony of her death. There is nothing comparably painful to losing your child. However, Rebecca's death has changed my life and the lives of many others during those moments she was with us.
Ultimately I came to recognize that there is no point in arguing the “what ifs.” We have experienced what we were meant to, and then it is up to us to learn and grow from those experiences. Despite the pain, we can become better people through our struggles and loss.
Now any time I hear "The Dance," I am left in tears thinking about my daughter. Yet under those tears, there is gratitude for the beauty of the dance, for the “moment [when] all the world was right.”
© 2015 Green Heart Guidance