It was one of our worst imagined nightmares: The knock on the door and the words “there’s been a very bad car accident.” But this time it wasn’t a dream – it was real.
We remember the events that followed in vivid detail: the questions we asked (“How bad an accident?” “Are you sure it was her?”), the refusal to accept such news without proof and driving in shock first to the scene of the crash then on to the home of the friend we prayed she was still with, selfishly hoping someone else had been driving her car … Desperate banging on the door finally awoke those inside who with puzzled expressions told us, “No, Maia’s not here. She decided not to sleep over and left for home a few hours ago.”
The reality hit hard. In the cold dark air of that February morning the inconceivable became our truth. Our beloved daughter, our most cherished Maia, without any warning or apparent reason, was gone. Death had come while we were sleeping and taken her away. Her life was ended, her voice silenced. Maia would be no more.
Or so we thought. What we didn’t fully appreciate at the time was that death is as much a beginning as it is an end, and that it is this way for both the soul, newly departed from its flesh and blood vessel, and for those of us left behind who struggle to adjust and find meaning.
What follows is a personal story, a chronicle of recovery and renewal describing how we, and many of our family members and friends, are learning to dance in the rain during one of the most painful storms life can give. It is a story we dedicate to our daughter, Maia Felisse, with endless love and gratitude for all she has taught us, and continues to teach us, about living life more consciously, with greater compassion, humor, and spirituality, and in constant wonderment of it all.
Publication Date :
Page Count :
Page Count :
About the Book
When a tragic car accident took the life of our twenty-one year old daughter, Maia, we began a journey that has been paradoxically the most heart-wrenching and spiritually uplifting period of our lives.
Learning to Dance in the Rain chronicles the first year of this journey. Through pain and despair to renewed energy and spiritual discovery, we write about the many ways in which we are finding strength and inspiration to carry on. With help from family and friends, a variety of religious/spiritual traditions, encounters with the natural world, and, most profoundly, continued connection with our beloved daughter, we are learning that death is as much a beginning as it is an end and that pain can be a catalyst for personal & spiritual growth.
It is our greatest hope that sharing our story in this way will help others find strength to face the storms that come their way and live their lives with greater awareness.
About the Author
Lori and Brian McDermott are both educators who met in 1982 while attending graduate school at Texas A&M University. They moved to Massachusetts in 1988 with their two children, Sean and Maia, and continue to live and work in the central Massachusetts area.