Those closest to me know that I never listen to music, at least not deliberately anyway. It has became particularity difficult for me after Jacob died to listen to songs about lost love and the disappointments of life . Music is penned from the soul of people and while it brings comfort to many I have found mostly pain in it all. Music rubs at my raw soul the wrong way I suppose, so I choose to shut it out of my life.
I do not have a playlist or any downloaded music on any of my apple devices, Pandora was deleted long ago and the radio in my truck only displays the time for me. I have wished, and actually prayed that this would change for me but up to this point I still struggle with it. The day that Jacob died is the day that the music died in me.
After he died I found myself literally running to escape music. I could say with honesty that I hated it because of what it would do to my heart when I heard it. I cannot, and have not found comfort in music. I remember sitting in a Burger King as I tried to choke down a chicken sandwich while enduring Elton John’s classic hit, “Sad songs.” I sat there and sobbed alone that afternoon hating music and hating the fact that it was inescapable and everywhere around me. Why is it that Elton John can find a gentle touch in a sad song and I get a sucker punch to the stomach? Even simple TV commercial riffs have caused me to quickly grab the remote to avoid getting the wind knocked out of me.
Turn on those sad songs
When all hope is gone
Why don’t you tune in and turn them on
Just feel their gentle touch
When all hope is gone
Sad songs say so much
The cutting edge of the knife has dulled some over time, thankfully it’s not as bad as it was. In the onset of grief I would actually get queasy and shaky when certain genre’s of music were heard. It became difficult to escape from the noise and my awareness of it became extremely heightened. Music is everywhere and is impossible to be totally free of in this world, though I try, it still finds me and catches me off guard and punches my soul.
I realize I am a bit of an enigma when it comes to my contempt for music. Most who grieve find a place of comfort and peace in it, I am glad about that because my son and daughter have been comforted by it. Music has been a healing balm for them.
Jacob had a beautiful voice, he loved to sing and play his guitar. He was an old soul, he appreciated the music of Johnny Cash and Willy Nelson and was somewhat critical of contemporary musicians. He sang in choral groups when in high school and would occasionally play and sing at church, weddings and funerals. Three months before his own death he sang the Old Rugged Cross and Amazing grace at his granny’s funeral. He wanted me to accompany him with the harmonica but I decided to opt out. I regret that decision sometimes but I figure that I have been spared a bitter sweet memory.
I have taken out my harmonica and played a couple of times in the last 22 months. I hope that someday music can be a part of my life again. March 26th, 2014 is the day the music died for me and sadness replaced my song.
I sit in church and wonder what Jake is singing for Jesus in heaven. I have yet to find my song in a worship service. As a sojourner in earth I feel like the captive Jews of years ago who who hung their lyres in the willows. “For our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? (Psalms 137:3-4)
Someday in heaven I will sing a new song with my son. Someday I hope to play a harmonica with Jacob singing Amazing Grace…how sweet the sound. Till then the sound of music is not so sweet to me. By the grace of Christ I hope that in time music in this life will no longer be bitter to me but sweet once again. Someday… perhaps.