I never listen to music any more. It’s talk radio or sports radio I tune to when I’m in my car. Music “speaks to my soul” and I relate every song to Ben and/or memories of long ago when I was young and naive. New song or old song….the pain and longing emerge and the tears fall when the music starts.
But, when Gina’s in my car with me, it’s impossible not to have the radio on. She’ll flip to a music station and I’m too much of a mom to admit my weakness to her and say, “Turn it off because it makes me sad.” Occasionally I will hear a re-mix of a song and she’ll seem surprised when I mention to her that it’s a song from my past.
I think of myself as a re-mix of many songs. The words I say and the “tune” I play may be the same, but I know that there’s an imposter behind the scenes. I’m a re-mix of the me I used to be. The trauma of Ben’s death has affected me so deeply, so dramatically, that I don’t believe there’s much of the original me left. The backdrop behind the words has been damaged and changed and re-arranged beyond measure. The rebuilding of my life has just begun, more than two years after Ben’s death. So, as I go about my business from day to day, I know that there’s a totally different “artist” behind the scenes, behind the familiar lyrics and tunes. I wonder how many other people, if any, realize that.
After Jason died, certain songs turned me into a puddle of tears. Some of them I so closely associated with him that I could hardly listen to them. Our daughter had picked the songs to play during the slideshow at Jason’s memorial and had picked a some songs that were really popular at the time. I constantly heard them on the radio, in stores, at school. It was so hard to keep it together.
I decided I would try to listen to some of those songs over and over in a row, trying to desensitize myself to them…or at least get to the point where I could hold it together if they came over the speaker system in a retail store. It didn’t help. Music holds a tremendously powerful and emotional connection, even more so when you lose a child. Those songs still can bring tears to my eyes, although I no longer cry at the drop of a hat when I hear them.
One other thing I found that I did when I heard a song that really pierced my heart was to change the radio (or whatever) to a song that I didn’t associate with Jason. It may have been a song I absolutely hated, but at least it didn’t make me think of Jason. I’d turn it up really loud and make myself focus on that song so that my brain and my emotions wouldn’t continue down the path I was on to the point where I fell apart.
Thank you for writing. I appreciate what you have to say. Hugs to you.
Thank you, Rebecca, for your words of encouragement and understanding. I try, but it is still so difficult to hear lyrics, even if they are ones I’ve never heard before. My emotions just seem to instantly attach to any song I hear. Perhaps with time it will become easier. Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing. Hugs.
I feel the same way.