Grief Music

Talking is good.  I can talk! But writing gives better shape to my words.  Let’s them step out in ordered lines, marching to the beat of the same drum. Rhythm, cadence, innuendo, pace.  Often, my writing comes when my music is playing.

When it comes to music itself, I prefer to listen to others, rather than make my own. The music I make sounds better in written words.  You can trust me on that one.
Or ask my hubster about my ukulele concerts.

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Music is solace, medicine and healing for the troubles in my heart.  I listen to escape, reminisce, to motivate myself or to find a way to let out some tears.  For me, both music and movies are effective cry-button-pushers.  Sometimes, you just need to have a good cry.

I heard a song, once, directly about grief for a lost mother.  I think it was called ‘Goodbye’s The Hardest Word’. It was playing on the car radio and it lasered right in on my softest spot.  I was overwhelmed. I pulled over and let the crying overcome me…
It was a few years after my Mum had died,  and it was Celine DionBut even the number of years that had passed and my personal music taste barriers didn’t stop the grief.  When it comes, it comes on strong.  We call them SUGs around here.  Sudden Upsurges of Grief.  Sometimes they don’t even require a song.  I’ll be busy getting about the business of my day and WHOOMPH.  SUG.  Sock it straight to the heart.

Mumma!  Where are you?!

I am all at once, a child again, lost in the crowd. Seized with terror.
Where’s my Mum?

She’s gone.


Her name was Faith.  She passed that name to me, and I to my girl.  I love that link between the three of us.  It’s forever.  It’s longer than life.  One day, someone will be researching a family history and there we’ll be.   Three steps down, faith on the family tree.

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She was beautiful.  Hard case.  Shy. Loving and controlling and supportive and wise.  And mine.  She got ovarian cancer and fought for seven years.  I became her friend in those seven years.  And a grown up.  And a mother myself.  We spent hours together, working on her memory books.  She read endless stories to my wee girl, far beyond the patience of a parent. She was a special Granny.  They were mates.

“We’s mates, ay?” she’d say to Bee in a funny voice, eyes twinkly over her glasses.  Bee loved her with ferocity.  She was two when Mum died.  Even now she still wakes sometimes, crying in the night, deep in the clasp of her own SUG.  She misses her Granny.
Zed never got to meet her.

I find myself sounding like my Mum, sometimes.  A turn of phrase, a sharp repast when I’m stretched thin. A quirky saying or a loving squeezy ‘mmmmph’.  I mother like her; on my good days. And somehow, I always know what she would say about any given thing.  Usually the opposite to what I would want to hear but almost always, truth.  I know if she was here, she’d be over, fluffing about and helping me.  I know she’d be bringing me articles about how I can get fixed and staging sneaky prayer fests. She’d be loving me the way only a mother can.

 

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So, today, I want to post a little song on here.  It’s quite possibly my favourite ‘farewell’ song.  I love it very much.  The Indigo Girls have caught, by some musical magic and lyrical gift, the pain and beauty that co-exist in real human relationships.  The imperfect, perfect love between two people.

When someone you love dies, you don’t say farewell once.  You say it every day.
It takes a lifetime to comes to term with the idea that life ends.  Maybe we never ever do.  So here’s to Mum.  Faith.  Beautiful soul and beloved mumma.

And here’s to you; to your grief, for your love.
For all those lost to us that we love.
I hope this song brings you solace, medicine, and healing for the troubles in your heart.


Okay, so the hair might be a tad distracting.  Stop looking.  Close your eyes and listen to that voice.  Wow, just wow.

8 thoughts on “Grief Music”

  1. Your writing about our mother is beautiful. The way you word things is amazing. And missing someone you love so much sometimes is hard to take but at least memories stay in our hearts forever. She was such a wonderful mother.

  2. I totally identify with your SUGs, I get them too. Sometimes it’s music, often for no reason at all. My mum died almost 7 years ago a month after being diagnosed with kidney cancer and it’s still hard. I can’t listen to the song today….self-preservation is needed today! x

    1. Aw, Jo. I am so sorry to hear that. It was seven years ago that we lost Mum too. Self preservation is a good thing. Wishing you a SUG free run.
      Arohanui,
      Rach x

  3. Rachel thank you for this beautiful piece I started to read it a couple of weeks ago but couldn’t finish as was on the train & didn’t want to navigate the escalators at the next stop with tears in my eyes! Your Mum sounds like a very special lady & that is why you are such a fab friend & an amazing Mum! Big hugs x

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