Music has always been a huge part of my life. I mark my high school years by what musical I was in/working on, I mark lots of events in my life based on a song I was listening to on repeat at the time, and I have *tried* to use music to help me grieve.
But since my loss, I have also avoided music because of the hurt and the pain that comes along with it. I have a list of songs that I avoid at all costs, a group of songs that I can listen to on occasion if the stars align just right, and a list of songs that I like to listen to because of the memories associated.
Marriah and I loved music. It was something that we shared right down to our DNA….literally. Our mamas were the oldest members of a trio with their younger sister called The Medders Sisters (super creative name, right?!). I’m laughing to myself because they are gonna knock me upside my head when they read that. Anyway, we grew up singing in church choir, children’s choirs, serving as VBS worship leaders, and even some in high school. We both at some point tried to pick up the piano like our musical mama’s, but neither one of us were able to stick with it. We both did band at one point too. She picked up the flute for a bit and I the clarinet, but again, neither of us stuck with band like our brothers did with their trombone, gutiar, and saxophone. But still we had a heart and a love for melodies, lyrics, and the way that they could come together to form a piece of art.
One of us would find a song on the radio and text it to the other one. Before smart phones, it was usually a phone call or a text telling the other to go on YouTube and look the song up. It was our way of expressing emotions over one thing or another, and one of our ways of connecting. Some of the songs on my lists are songs that we would sing together or songs that made us laugh. Some are songs about grief and loss. Some are just songs that remind me of her. 3 songs are the songs that were played on repeat during the slideshow from her funeral.
Those 3 songs from her slideshow as well as “I Can Only Imagine” (which we sang as a time of worship during her funeral) are some of the songs on my HELL NO list. They were actually the 4 songs that started my list and the 4 songs that made me realize that music wasn’t the same anymore. Music wasn’t guaranteed to be a source of joy for me anymore. And the pieces of my heart broke all over again.
It’s so hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that something so apart of me, something ingrained in my DNA, something that used to so easily fill me with happiness, is now like a ticking bomb. Is it gonna set me off today? Is it going to have faulty wiring and deactivate? Who knows! But it’s always there in the back of my head and weighing on my heart.
Melodies and memories are intertwined for me, always have been and always will be. Depending on the melody and depending on the memory, that’s what makes the difference when it comes to that ticking bomb. It’s something I am working on. And as I move along my grief journey the music is shifting and changing with me. Songs that I couldn’t listen to have started to become better received when I hear them by chance on the radio or when I have my music on shuffle. For me, that’s a start. Some new songs that would have hit me HARD in 2017 are given a chance before I shut them down (and some of them I can listen to depending on the day/time). However, there are those that are still FIRMLY in their list as assigned from the beginning. Like I said, this is just a start.
For right now, starting is a big step in the right direction. And it’s one that I have chosen to take.
Love you always. Miss you forever, Sunflower. 🌻
***Since I connect through music, all the titles of my posts will be song quotes, titles, lyrics, musicals etc. Whether the song/music selection as a whole fits or not, the specific lyric used will relate or somehow be integrated into the post. I will also give credit where it is due, and name the song, artist, and writers at the very bottom of every blog (as well as leave a link to the song on YouTube). ***
Artist: Eric Church (2011)
Written by: Eric Church, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell