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Better living through musical theatre

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Feb. 11th, 2006 | 06:59 am
music: Rent soundtrack

Today, I think, will be a very difficult day.

Funeral, then formal reception, then family and close friends reception... about 5 hours of forced dwelling on Mom's death.

Good and healing, in a way, as I think that often the best healing is done by helping others... but tiring and awkward in that I will be faced with many people who want to express sympathy for me whom I am afraid I will be inclined to make feel better.

I really appreciate the sort of sympathy that is unassuming and doesn't require talking -- the phone messages and the cards that remind me that I and my family are in someone's thoughts and prayers and heart because it is the sort of sympathy that lets me know that I could talk if I wanted to or if I had something to say. Comfortable, the feeling of knowing there are people there for you, and a really and truly wonderful thing, that comfort.

I am blessed.

And I process things, bit by bit, in my own way. Well, my own way that I think I learned from my mom. A few days before she died, we (meaning me and some family friends) were discussing titles of our autobiographies, if we were to write them, and we decided that hers would be "Better Living through Musical Theatre" because so much of her life can be told in the words of songs from assorted musicals, and she would listen to soundtracks from time to time and it would help her get clarity on things.

It happened to me tonight watching Rent with shallwedance_. I had moments of deep personal connection to some of the refrains of "No Day But Today" and I cried and cried in the scene of Angel's funeral, especially at the line "She used to say how she was so lucky that we were all together and all friends. But really, we were the lucky ones." It resonated very deeply, that quote because it is so true to my life. My mom always really appreciated all of the wonderful people in her life and the wonderful friendships that she had and rarely stopped to think about what she gave others. She just gave and gave from a very loving heart. Which makes those of us who had her in our lives, those of us to whom she was close an incredibly lucky bunch of people.

It felt good to be touched so deeply and moved to tears. I don't cry much over her death, when I do, it tends to be in short, sudden bursts. I don't feel there's a lot to cry about, really. But letting myself miss her and letting myself hurt and letting myself cry is a good thing -- physical pain is good for us, occasionally, because it reminds us that we are alive and getting stronger (and also that life isn't something we can take for granted). Emotional pain, I think, works the same way on the heart. It reminds us that we have one, and makes that heart stronger and more full and more able to love. Too much would be a bad thing... but a little, I think is healthy. It helps us grow.

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Comments {3}

Vanillahyacinth

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from: vanillahyacinth
date: Feb. 11th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
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Thinking about you today.

I copied and saved the paragraph in your Mobius-scarf entry that ended with "I will always see in the way my whole world is built...."

Sending hugs, Liz darling.

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rula

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from: rula
date: Feb. 12th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC)
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your mom must be so incredible.
lots of strength to you, liz.

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Andie

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from: swirling_poetry
date: Feb. 12th, 2006 06:46 am (UTC)
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I love the idea of better living through musical theatre. If something really touches us, it's great that it's can be sung. Even if it is grief. Somehow singing seems like a much stronger expression than simply talking.

I hope you're doing okay, and keep listening to show tunes.

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