The Power of Music

Music. It has a powerful effect on us. And on our thinking. Sometimes a song will come on the radio, and it will bring back memories. Sometimes funny ones, and you’ll laugh. Or happy ones, and you’ll smile. And then of course, sad ones. And you will start to tear up.

I remember in the days after we learned that our Emily had died, time stood still. And I would hear everything more. Things slowed down. I would hear a song, and really hear the words. The lyrics. And I would take it all in. One day, leading up to Emily’s funeral, I had to stop in at the funeral home. I got in my car, and on the radio was that song by Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Under the Bridge”. And that one line, “I don’t want to ever feel, like I did that day,” was playing. And I thought of the day that I found out that Emily did not have a heartbeat. Tuesday, February 5, 2013. My mind went right there, in that moment, as I was listening to that song. That line just spoke to me in that moment, and tears rolled down my face.

As I pulled into the cemetery a couple of days later, “Home” by Philip Phillips came on the radio. “Just know you’re not alone, Cause I’m gonna make this place your home,” literally started to come out of my speakers, just as I was driving through the entrance. I was stopping by to confirm our Emily’s grave plot. Something that was so extremely hard to do, but had to be done. I remember the person working there that day, got into my car, to drive over to the baby section, and my radio was up loud. Really loud. I said, “Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. Music is just my comfort right now. And I like it loud.” She said something along the lines that I have found something comforting, and that is good. Music really impacts us, and can help us in our sadness. Maybe it’s because you feel understood with your feelings. And not alone.  

Just in that time too, Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers were becoming popular. So, anytime my husband and I hear their songs, we think of our Emily. And now Michael, too. We even played that one song by Mumford, “I Will Wait,” as we left the church parking lot heading to Michael’s burial, as it reminds us so much of them. We like to think of our two angels waiting for us. We will meet again, someday. Anytime that song comes on the radio, my husband and I just look at each other with unspoken words, as we know what the other is thinking.

There was even one night back in February 2013 that I drove to the cemetery. That was a very hard evening for me. I was heading home, after meeting up with a friend. It was about a week after we buried our Emily. The snow was falling pretty hard, and it was definitely dark outside. And the cemetery was on the way home. How could I not stop? I just wanted to say good night to my baby. I remember, driving up to the area where both of our babies are now, and just having my headlights on Emily’s grave in the distance. The snow was coming down hard at this point, and my tears were just falling as fast as the snow was. And this song came on. I had just bought the Mumford and Sons CD because it spoke so much to me. Anyhow, the lyrics as I am sitting there were, “And hold me still, bury my heart next to yours. So give me hope in the darkness, that I will see the light…” I choke up when I think about the night, and that song. I came home to my husband with smeared mascara all over my face. And I told him what I did. And then I told him that I bought a CD that was really cool, and had a lot of great songs on it. I know that I shouldn’t have been there at night. I just couldn’t believe that I had a baby in a cemetery, and I wasn’t supposed to visit them at night. That there were only certain “times” that I was allowed to do so. That broke my heart. My husband of course was worried, but knew that I was just very sad. As he was too. But he was just going about it all differently than myself. But that is one thing that we have connected a lot with this past year – music.

So this past summer we were able to attend a Mumford and Sons concert. A friend gave us tickets as a gift. One of the best gifts ever. It was by far, the best concert either of us have attended. It was great being able to get away, just the two of us. And then to share in that experience of their music. I felt Emily’s presence, believe it or not. Listening to their music was very powerful, and very emotional for both my husband and myself, especially when they played, “I Will Wait”.

I love music, and what it can do for your heart and soul. I listened to Mumford and Sons a lot, again, when our Michael died. I also started listening to a band that I liked a long time ago, and have grown fond over them again. Kings of Leon. I have enjoyed listening to “Wait For Me,” with the lyrics, “Gonna open my heart, right at the scars,” speaking to me. And the chorus says, “Wait for me…” I, again, think of our little ones with this song, and say, “Wait for me, Emily and Michael.” Also, in the weeks following losing our Michael, The Head and the Heart. I even had a blog entry titled with the words from their song, “Another Story”. The line goes, “I wish it was all a dream,” so I related with this song instantly. My blog title, “This Just Feels Like a Dream”. I said that an unknown number of times the day we found out that Emily died. And continues on with “Can we go on, like it once was?” and ends with, “The sun still rises even with the pain…The sun still rises even through the rain.” And it kind of says it all there. Life is going to go on, even with your loss and pain. But will you go on like it once was?

There have been other songs and artists that have spoken to me this past year. And I find their words comforting. I do think having someone to talk with about things, is so important while grieving for support and understanding. But there are days, where I just hop in my car and go for a ride. And turn the music up (loud) to a certain song, and I feel so much better. I feel understood, and not alone.