After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I am no stranger to loss, as many of you know. Since 1991 when my husband Jack died, way way too young, everything that I had up to that time also went away. Before then, believe it or not, I had everything I ever wanted out of life (that should have been a clue, right?) But the beginning of major loss in my life was in 1989 when Jack was diagnosed with cancer and given no hope to live.

After his death I lost the family home, the stuff in it (ooh lots of treasured stuff), most of my friends (funny about that), my health to my own two cancers, my parents, my job, and my country when I no longer could afford to live on the little early retirement I received.

So when Phoebe died on Monday, as what happens with everyone, the enormous feelings of loss I felt over my little companion of thirteen years, conjured up all the losses of my life with a whammy. So one ends up mourning not just the recent loss, but all that was lost since the beginning of time.

When I saw on the news how the glaciar Perito Moreno is melting for the first time ever in wintertime, and I remembered the Peruvian glaciar that recently disappeared leaving a rusty ski resort and the local Indians without any water source, it all converged into one painful Weltschmertz, with lots of tears. The loss of magnificient natural wonders, the loss of balance on our planet, the continuous loss of peace all over the world, the loss of a little animal who was your constant faithful companion who totally loved you...well thoughts like these can keep you in bed all day.

But if we can drag ourselves up and around, and go out and dance some tango, which is all about loss, isn't it?, hold someone close and dance out our feelings, we can go on a little easier. Well I can, and I hope you can too.


studio wellspring said...

i am so sorry about your loss. being unable to think of anything original to say to help soothe you, i'll just share some of my favorite quotes on the subject that have helped me thru similar struggles....

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." -Kahlil Gibran

"That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment." -Pema Chodron

"Gain and loss are meaningless preoccupations that we use to foster the illusion of a permanent self... This life is precious, our time is precious, and our mind is precious. True victory is not being caught by the illusion of permanence." -Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Anonymous said...

Dearest Cherie, "loss" is one of those things that reminds us we are human and vulnerable. And it is often horribly, horribly painful. When we lose something, we tend to clump all the losses together into one monumental, universal loss, and grieve all over again for everything.

I think it is natural. And I thank the Universe that there is Tango, which is the magic soul ointment that makes everything all better.

May you heal quickly.

tangocherie said...

So absolutely true! Thank you for reminding me of the wisdom of the ages. Of course life is change, but it's so HARD to accept change, sometimes even when it's good. And the loss of a loved one can never be good. But yes, I am very thankful for the love Phoebe brought to my life, and for all of my other blessings that came and then went. So thankful.

And thankful for the wonderful comments that people are leaving on my posts.

Maraya said...

I try to remember Trungpa's words from Shambhala - that as a Spiritual Warrior we must walk through the world with a bigger and bigger broken heart (something like that). You're right about current loss dredging up pain left over from previous loss. It piles up. It also foreshadows - fear of future loss - for me.

I'm taking my time here in BsAs to dive right into the dark abyss and wrestle with the demons of grief, regret and pain of loss. It's taken me to the Recoleta Cemetery to discover the beautiful quality of light and color there. It's led me to amazing new creative ventures that I couldn't have imagined. So, out of death comes life, out of endings come new beginnings. And, hopefully for me, I'm walking around with a bigger and bigger broken heart.