A couple months ago, I tweeted about a piece I was working on for The Fix. The finished piece went live!! I explored the intersection of grief and music. There are certain songs and albums that remind me of my father, both happy and sad memories.
As I’ve said before, music is quite a powerful medium. Music connects us to those we’ve lost and helps heal us. It’s all there in the melodies and lyrics. Thank you to everyone who shared their own song stories with me for this piece — you’ve shared a piece of yourself, a piece of your grief, a piece of the person you lost, and that is no small feat.
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I write about how emotional certain songs from the ’60s and ’70s can be for me, no matter how many times I hear them to this day…
There are the songs that evoke the memories of my childhood, like the oldies from the ‘60s and ‘70s that we listened to on family car trips. I can’t listen to Simon & Garfunkel or Gordon Lightfoot without memories flooding back –like when my father introduced my sister and me to his record collection. We played those records for hours until we had all the words memorized.
Then there are also the songs that remind me of the dark days and months just after he died. A month before his death, I bought Norah Jones’ debut album on a whim and it sort of became the soundtrack of his death. My mother and I listened to it constantly, so every time I hear “Come Away with Me” I’m immediately transported back to that time. Suddenly I’m that scared, confused 21-year-old who can’t believe she’ll never see her father again.
These songs make me so sad, and yet I can’t stop listening. It’s almost like I’m drawn to the pain that those songs evoke, as if listening to them will somehow help me continue to process my grief.
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo