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Music to Grieve To
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People came from many miles
to say they loved you so
The mind, the trash
how loud you laughed
"The sun, the moon, he's gone too soon.
But trust us dear, he's here with you.
"

But is he? Really? ‘cos it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. And I know you’re just trying to be nice and thoughtful - but - how do you know? And if you’re going to talk to me about faith, please stop - ‘cos right now I’m struggling hard with that concept.

That’s the thing about sudden death - at funerals and afterwards - some people seem unable to stop themselves inserting their faith in order to make you feel better. Here’s what the songwriter had to say about that:

The song deals explicitly with my brother’s funeral, and my pained inability to believe in the well-meaning platitudes that were coming from every direction at that time. For better or worse, a loss of faith is a common reaction to a great loss, and it is something that I felt was missing from many grief songs. I made it my goal to convey this feeling in song, and I have done so. I am tremendously proud of it, and I want it to find its home with others who are grieving and finding it difficult to soothe themselves with the usual religious/metaphysical cliches.
— Ben (Jonathan Titmouse)

The track caught my ear on the strength of that opening line. Anyone who has been through this - the sudden loss of a loved one who in turn was loved by many - knows what it’s like to receive the well wishes of relative strangers. It’s a weird thing to experience - as in the middle of your own grief you act as a totem for others to express theirs.

Yet this is how we deal with it - the rituals and behaviors that have been around for millennia are there for a reason. Grief experts will tell you that they are part of the grieving process - that society keeps them around because they do actually help. If only we could help those who insist on helping us with their “well-meaning platitudes,” then it might be a little easier.

If you know someone going through this at the moment - maybe someone who is struggling with everything - share this track with them - it may be exactly what they need.


You can learn more about Jonathan Titmouse here:

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About the Curator - Andrew McCluskey

The first visual memory I have is that of the white upright piano in Singapore, Hell and the dark forces lived at the bottom, Heaven and the Angels at the top. They would play battles through my fingers and I was hooked.

After my dad died I was very sad - I couldn't play for a while and when I did, the music that came out reflected my grieving state.  I wrote an album of solo piano music called Music to Grieve to - from which the idea of the Music to community originated.  

If you'd like to know more you should read Nicole's fabulous article on why listening to sad music can make you feel better.

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