Before I dive into the topic at hand, I must clear things up. This is not an article about my past romantic relationships but rather; about picking up the pieces of my heart after losing a parent.
It was a rather calm morning and I had just gotten dressed for school; when suddenly, after opening my bedroom door, my sister who was drenched in her own tears broke the gut-wrenching news to me. It didn’t sink in for awhile. At that moment, I literally felt like time had stopped and the world stood still for a good few minutes. I then proceeded to feel such excruciating pain that I wouldn’t ever wish upon anyone.
Thankfully though, aside from the support of close friends; music was and still is an everlasting companion in my life. It affected me profoundly in a therapeutic way. This is why music therapy exists to calm people, reduce stress and ease muscle tension. When struggling with grief, music can often lift our spirits when we are at our lowest. Or, it can provide an euphoria of being in another time and place. Whether the music you listen to consists of lyrics or not; it can stir many emotions within us and be used as a respite from our pain or a form of solace – even if it’s only for a moment.
Songs from artists like Luther Vandross’ “Dance with my father” certainly struck a chord with the way he sang. Here are small parts of his memorable lyrics:
“If I could get another chance
Another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never ever end
How I’d love love love
To dance with my father again”
“When I and my mother
To get my way I would run
From her to him
He’d make me laugh just to comfort me”
Even reading the lyrics causes me to smile gleefully to myself because of how relatable it is. In terms of my upbringing, just like the song, whenever my mother and I crossed fire with each other, I would run to my father for comfort. Being able to relate a memory to song lyrics really made me feel embraced with an unexplainable warmth.
To me, this is the kind of song that deserves so much recognition because of the way it invoked such deep and personal emotions. When I first heard the song, it caused me to reflect so much on nostalgic memories with my father and how much I yearned for his presence again.
One memory that was a result from listening to such a song was when I was about 7 years old. Because I was so used to following my father to his office, I noticed that he always made himself a cup of black coffee. As a child, we have this innate nature of wanting to please our parents, and I was certainly no exception. After that realisation, one day, I started making him a cup of black coffee every time I followed him to work. Looking back – I realise that eventhough I didn’t put in any sugar in the coffee, he would happily drink it in front of me.
This memory is just one of many that made me yearn for him to be in my life again. However, over time, I did realise that he is never truly gone. After all, as long as the people we love are in our hearts, they are always with us.
On that note, I am eternally grateful for singers and music-writers for being able to connect emotionally and mend hearts with their audience through amazing music.