grief: music therapy

This morning I went out on my own to walk/run and do a couple of things in town. I felt I needed to clear my head after a week of feeling massively irritable (hormones involved). I stuck on an Indie playlist on spotify, invited God to be part of my time, and found myself undertaking a bit of a music therapy session and thought I’d write about it…

I bet you look good on the dance floor Arctic Monkeys – I was pounding the street to this song almost feeling my anger coming out the soles of my shoes as I ran down a road that my Dad’s organisation used to own 2 properties on. 

America Razorlight – I hit the beach at this point and walked catching my breath back and enjoying the uplifting melody looked up at the sky to see sun breaking through the clouds, the sea was still (you know those moments?) and felt God near, felt close to Dad, but it made me feel great loss and pain rippled across my face. Thank goodness for sunglasses. I felt like I needed the pain to be drawn out so, oddly, it felt ok to feel it.

Valerie The Zutons – ” well sometimes I go out by myself and I look across the water, and I think of all the things, what you’re doing and in my head I paint a picture.” I thought about those words and how hard it can be to remember Dad clearly as so many images, moments, things he said and did can flood in at once and contradict to deny me a picture I can see clearly. Memories are powerful but they don’t enable you to fully hold onto a moment in all its reality. Just as you feel you’ve got it it changes or melts away, like a snowflake. 

Rock and Roll Queen The Subways – I walked past a man wearing a West Ham t-shirt just as the lead singer screams the first line of the chorus and it felt like an expression of what I can feel when I see something that reminds me of Dad. The timing made me smile.

Forever Lost The Magic Numbers – this brought the tears back “looks like it all went wrong, what am I to do?… I’m…. Forever lost.” But then I also smiled… “Don’t let the sun be the one to change you baby…” Made me think of how dad used to say ‘don’t you go changin’!’

Monster The Automatic – I kind of loath this song but as I walked home I felt as if God pointed me to Joe and the kids and probably the question they ask themselves each day…. “What’s that waking up next to me? Is it a monster? Or my loving wife.” “What’s that looking after me today, is it a monster… or a nice mummy?” I smiled in spite of myself and remembered Dad’s words that I think of every day… It’s a choice we make to be a certain way, grumpy or upbeat, kind or cold, loving or selfish. Yes, hormones and grief have a lot to answer for, but choice always plays a part. I asked God to give me what I needed to be the wife and mum I want to be. When I got in I apologised to my long-suffering husband for my irritable week and could see his relief… No, you haven’t done a million things wrong, it was my problem. 

Yellow Coldplay – this started just as I approached my front door and I can’t even go into what Coldplay means in relation to my Dad… We saw them at Wembley with him… Speed of Sound played at the end of his funeral… I had resolved to be upbeat for my family and was feeling it so I opened the door and paused Coldplay… 

For another day. 



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  1. Ruthie

    Songs of my teenage/twenties years and evokative of other things to me- music is so interesting like that. It takes you back to a place and a time and a feeling. I’m enjoying your blog but not your pain my lovely, hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the messy mama

    Ahhh I had music therapy last night too. I love music, it’s part of my soul, but I rarely listen to music any more. I should do. You’ve reminded me of why. I’m so glad you got out to run and let God run with you like this. Thinking of you x x x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Claire

    Been wanting to chat to you for ages about your dad. My dad died the same way as yours a week after my Chloe was born. He never got to meet her as he was taken into intensive care the day I had her and he never came out. I wasn’t allowed to go to visit him as I had got an infection through the c section. I did manage to wangle a 10 minute visit the day before he died. He has been dead nearly 21/2 years and only now I feel I am getting myself together. There were days when I would wake up fine and by the end of the day, I was a monster to all those around who loved me. I had so many emotions driving through my head and heart. He used to say to me We cannot direct the winds, but we can adjust our sails. Hang in there. You are doing really well believe me x


    • Where I Write

      Gosh, thanks for sharing that Claire. What added pain you must have felt with those particular circumstances surrounding his death. I find it very tough not feeling like myself most of the time. This too shall pass… slowly…!
      Thanks for commenting, means a lot.


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