Friday, November 22, 2013

Noey's Song

I’ve always been the kind of person that has a song for each particular era of my life.  Play Bon Jovi’s “Always” and I’m right back in my sophomore year, slow dancing with my crush, in the sweaty high school gym.  A song is a warm, soft place to land in my memory.  It’s a comfy couch that I can go back and sit on and re-experience that season of life.

As a brand new widow, I needed a song.  I needed something to ground me, something to relate to, to know that someone had felt the way that I did, to know that I wasn’t alone. 

But I was so very alone.  No one understood.  I had no couch to sit on.  There were no widow songs.  And so, I felt the need to stand, my legs getting tired beneath me, feeling like I had to do it all on my own.

When I heard “Homesick,” by Mercy Me, it was about loss.  I could find a bit of rest in it, a bit of relief.  It’s funny, after three and a half years as a widow, I can no longer listen to the song, it sounds like “the beginning” to me.  I hear it and I am transported back to the rawness of soul that I felt.

But, that song was not specifically for widows.  I couldn’t completely relate, and so it didn’t meet all of my needs.

I found other songs along the way that helped.  I could hear the loss in the writer’s voice, could feel the weight of shared experience.  As my heart began to heal, it didn’t matter as much if all of the details of the song applied to me.  There were some people that got it, in some small way.  I was alone in my own pain, but not alone in the process of grief.  Grief is universal to the human experience, in varying degrees.  Even songs about a love lost because of a breakup began to feel helpful in some ways.  Some of those felt comfortable, like, for a moment, I could go back to their couch and find a bit of rest, feel the familiarity of the community of grievers.

One of my good friends is a musician.  Knowing that I was missing a "widow song" in the beginning, he began writing me a song almost four years ago.  Tonight the album it’s on is being released.  We worked on it a little bit together, he would ask me questions, write things down after conversations, once he made a note on the back of a paper plate. 

It was his gift to me, and to widows everywhere.  It is a place for them to go, to know they’re not alone, to know that they can be related to.  One of the verses is even full of my own words, as a fresh widow, from my own journal.  The song couldn’t be written until now, because it lacked the element of hope that was necessary to make it useful to anyone else at all.  It had to wait for me to heal to be born.  And now, it’s a gift to the world.

Come; listen to “Noey’s Song.”  Sit on my couch.  Feel the embrace and comfort of shared loss.  I’ll cover you with a chenille throw of my own pain, so that you know that you’re not alone.

(Check back for a link to the song.  I’ll post one after it’s available!)

*Don't have plans tonight?  Here's a link to buy tickets to the album release (also a benefit for Love, Light and Melody, a really great non-profit)!  7 p.m. at the Gothic!