On Saturday night I had a unique experience in an Italian restaurant in Times Square. A couple from Washington, D.C. speak some soothing words to me as I explain my parents’ deaths and why I am in New York City. Plus like Elsa in Frozen I am also on the abyss having lost my parents who were my supports in life.
The cast of Frozen during the curtain call at the St. James Theater in New York City.
Dangerous to Dream from the Broadway version of Frozen.
I am currently in New York City for the next few days and I had a unique experience that needs to be put in writing. I am writing this as a grieving son who misses his parents.
A Unique Conversation in a New York City Restaurant
On Saturday night I went to grab dinner before seeing the Broadway musical Frozen at the St. James Theater off Times Square. I went up to a bar in an Italian place and found a seat and started reading a book after I ordered my food. This couple next to me asks what I am reading, and I explain that it was a book I received for Christmas. So they asked me where I was from and my response is the Washington, D.C. area. They both explain what they do for a living, as they were also from the D.C. And they ask me what I am doing in New York City? And I explained that this will be long but this is the reason why. I lost my Mom and Dad in 2017 and 2018 respectively. I am grieving their loss and the grief counselor encouraged me to do something that Mom and Dad would like. So since they loved theater I decided to see more theater. I was encouraged to get away for a few days and embrace that more. So for the President’s Day holiday I planned to head to New York City and see three musicals – Moulin Rouge, Frozen and Phantom of the Opera.
When this couple heard this they expressed their condolences to me. They said it was neat that I am doing this. I asked them if they went to the Kennedy Center for theater and they said they go frequently. I explained to them that I saw Cats and Dear Evan Hanson at the Kennedy Center. When I asked about Cats the female said that she didn’t care for it. I said that Cats is a musical that some either love or they hate. My Mom loved Cats, my Dad was not too fond of it. They were in town to see Phantom of the Opera. They loved Phantom and the female mentions how she saw Michael Crawford in the Phantom at the Kennedy Center years ago. I explain that I also saw Michael Crawford in Phantom at the Ahmanson Center of Los Angeles in 1989. Today I can say that I saw the original Phantom. The couple then talks some more about theater. When I had to go the man does a fist bump and tells me that my parents did a good job in raising me. He said that he lost his parents recently and that it is some incredibly hard to process. Almost on cue the female chimes in and says “We’re all orphans.” The guy says that my parents are looking down from heaven smiling and being proud that I took up my Mom and Dad’s interest. I thanked them and left and when walking back to the hotel I cried. The words are incredibly kind and were exactly what I needed to hear. How can it be that two strangers from Washington, D.C. can tell me in New York City what I needed to hear? Something that would help a grief driven son? As time passed I became appreciative of what they said.
Standing on the Abyss and Facing My Mortality
Here is one thing that amazes me about Disney that you don’t hear spoken about too often. Disney can be dark and have themes that can be emotional. Let me give you some examples. Bambi has in it the mother being shot to death. The Lion King deals with fratricide in Scar killing his brother. Frozen deals with two sisters who lose their parents at sea and their death hangs over them in life. Before seeing Frozen I snagged the Broadway soundtrack and listened to it to become better acquainted with the music. In the musical there is a song that is not in the movie. Its a song that Elsa sings about her fears and struggles. She sings about her powers which frighten and also dealing with her parent’s death. She sings of having to move forward while standing on the abyss. The song is called, “Dangerous to Dream” and I have it above if you would like to listen to it.
This song hit me hard as I processed it. It is rich with emotion and hit a nerve. Like Elsa I am also on the abyss it feels like. Standing on the edge of the unknown without my two strongest pillars in my life – Mom and Dad – now being gone. All the support, love, guidance and more that they gave me has evaporated. I feel very much alone and I miss them deeply. And in the process recently I have come to realize my own mortality. The death of my parents has shown me that I am mortal and will die too one day. So like Elsa I stand on the abyss of my life trying to find myself and figure out who I am. And if I can say this I don’t know who I am sometimes. Death has robbed many of the certainties of life. Its a hard lesson to comprehend. The hard thing about grief is that it comes in waves, I wish I knew all that was going to come. But grieving is hard work. Like Elsa I guess I will have to find my own way and it will come through pain and heartbreak.