Music, Death, and Magical Moments

After eleven days, I’m finally at a point where I can put into words my thoughts regarding music, death, and magical moments.

These words may seem strange put together, but they popped into my mind ten days ago when  I read Missing Pieces, a very touching blog post on the Letters to Ian blog written by Ian’s mother, Blair.

At the time of finding Blair’s blog, I was responding to an assignment given by the Blogging University 101 — assignment two to be exact. We were asked to visit other participants in the Blogging 101 class and to comment on the titles and tag lines of new blogs that were starting or to comment on those revised titles and tag lines of established blogs. Blair had updated her title to I Am Still Your Mother with a subtitle of Don’t you give me that look…

The second I read her title and tagline, I wanted to read her blog. I could so hear those words being said to me when I was growing up. I also knew I had said them myself to our daughter. I had even said them years ago to my little brothers when we were growing up in an orphanage (more about that in another post sometime). Of course, when I said those words to my brothers, it was more like screaming, and I said, “I’m your sister. And, you better not give me that look again!”

Reading Blair’s letter to Ian, Missing Pieces, took me back to feeling the grief and pain I had not felt for a while. Her letter reminded me of the magnitude of the loss of my youngest brother, Ralph, at the age of twenty-five in 1982, due to a motorcycle accident. He loved to listen to Queen, which was the artist Blair shared as she recounted the memory of listening to several of Queen’s songs with her son, Ian in a letter she writes him.

And, I felt the surge of grief and pain increase when I read the words from We are the Champions, which was a huge favorite of Ralph’s. Life being what it is, I began to think about music and how it affects our lives in so many ways.

Just as quickly, my mind took me to the memory, pain and loss of two nephews, Josh and Justin. Both were killed in a car accident in 2007. This time Creed’s With Arms Wide Open and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird were the center pieces as our family managed somehow to maneuver through the labyrinth of a two-day funeral process. One for Justin (eighteen and two weeks away from high school graduation) followed by one for Josh (twenty-four with a free spirit).

Creed’s With Arms Wide Open youtube video:

For years after their passing, listening to music by Queen, Creed, or Lynyrd Skynyrd would cause my heart to slow a little, pain a little, and then I’d shake it off, followed with anguish over the loss. Time, as many say, has a way of helping the healing process to begin. This I know. When I hear music by Queen, Creed, or Lynyrd Skynyrd, it is as though by magic, I no longer anguish over my brother’s or my two nephews’ loss. I celebrate in the memories. I cherish the time we had. I, do, still long for more. I pray that one day we will be reunited. Until that time, I’m going to play the music, dance when it moves me, and cherish the magic it brings to my soul.

How about you? How has music, death, or magical moments touched your life?

14 thoughts on “Music, Death, and Magical Moments”

  1. I got hooked on movie background music as a kid (and was delighted when they invented LPs to do albums of it – more so now with CDs). That spread to classical music (many low-budget movies stole or adapted this free stuff; so did radio’s Lone Ranger in a big way). Now I associate particular tunes with certain parts of my life. It would not have been as rich without music.

    1. Thanks Paul. Movie music is so close to radio music in my mind. They kind of go hand-n-hand. I bet you have several associations you could share! Awesome!

  2. Music is in are hearts and souls.

    Music can tell a story, helps us to relax, gives us dreams to dream, joy, sorrow and moves us. We also can play, sing, write, and hear music.

    For me, music had no meaning in my life other then to listen to it on the radio or iTunes. Then, I joined the church choir and music has changed my life.

    When I am singing with the choir, all my worries and sorrows go away.

    To me choir has giving me courage, confidence, and joy. I think it has helped shape me to be a better person. I feel it is always changing me. Yes I am not the best singer but I am learning everyday. Just when I think that there is no way I can sing the music, I find myself singing it. I also found that lately I had the courage to learn to play the piano. Although my fellow choir friends have been singing and playing music long before I started, I feel they are always helping me to learn and grow as a choir member. For that I am forever grateful.

    So now music has a meaning and has touched my life in so many ways.

    1. Your comment is so powerful for me to read. It means a lot to me that you have found music in your life and your life is being shaped by its influence. Blessings to you dear daughter!

      Hugs, Love, and Music in your soul, always!

  3. Well, sister of my heart, you have done it again….caused this old hard head of mine to feel so much. One More Day and Eight Seconds always make me pause and brings closer memories of my Jody. And as the years pass, the memories have become sweeter and sweeter, and yes, one day we’ll be singing them together. Just had to say……thank you.

    1. Oh my sister of my heart, THANK YOU for being you; for sharing your heart; for allowing me to grow in my dream. HUGS ALWAYS! 🙂

  4. Very poignant! There are some songs that remind me so strongly of loved ones or sad moments that I have to switch radio stations if they come on when I’m driving. Other songs bring fond memories of lost loved ones and are healing. Music is the background to our lives. Great post.

    1. Thanks Murg. It took me a while to write, but it felt good in doing so. I can so relate to switching the radio station. But, I must confess, I cherish those moments when a song serendipitously comes on just when I need to hear it.

  5. Pam, thank you for the kind words and for sharing my blog post. Hugs to you!

    Music is a wonderful memory placeholder. I love how just one song can conjure up a feeling, a specific time/place, a person. It is magic just as you say.

  6. I often care of sick animals. I have a kitten, Daffodil, whom we all thought was going to die. She was the runt of the litter and constantly suffered from congestion so bad she couldn’t eat. One day she started having seizures caused by an infection that got to her little brain. While I was visiting her in the hospital, I heard You’ll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins.

    Little Daffodil pulled through somehow and is going to be 3 years old this year. Anytime I hear You’ll Be In My Hear I think about little Daffodil and how she pulled through despite the odds. The song instantly brings tears to my eyes.

    1. Wow! What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing Sounja! Pets are so special. Hugs to you and Daffodil.

  7. Sometimes I think that musical memories you have attached to a friend or loved one are some of the strongest memories you may have of them. I can easily think of at least a dozen friends who I so strongly associate a song with that I could not hear even a snippet of that piece of music without immediately thinking of them.

    For most of us who grew up in the 20th century, music is as much a part of our lives as people are. I think that it is a strong force that connects us to another human through a shared enjoyment or moment in time.

    1. Thanks Rosa for you shared feelings. You are so right about the “20th century” and music. I think music is indeed a universal language. Hugs to you!

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