I have been a lover of music for as long as I can remember. I can still recall “little” me walking around outside of the place I grew up, by myself, singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” like I thought I was Judy Garland. Ha! I was in the local children’s theater. I was in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. My husband finally got me singing at Church, where he was the Praise and Worship Leader.
My husband was an amazingly talented musician and singer. He could play just about any instrument by ear and had a beautiful voice. He loved music even more than I did. So, as a couple and as a family, music was a huge thing and an everyday part of our lives.
After my husband passed away, I found that my love for music had now become a great source of pain. There were so many songs that would come on that reminded me of him. Songs that I used to have on replay for days at a time were now skipped as soon as I could hit the button.
I no longer wanted to hear anything that reminded me of him.
It hurt too much.
Songs at church were the worst. I’m sure, although I didn’t fully understand at the time, it was because of the emotional feelings attached to songs connected to worship. They were a huge part in my connecting with God; they connected me to Jonathan. Not only was I worshiping the One who was my heavenly protector and provider, but the one singing them was my earthly protector and provider. He was gone and I couldn’t understand why God would allow that to happen. (I will elaborate on the subject of God “allowing” bad things to happen in a later post.) And now, here I am in a place that had been such a huge and significant part of us, without him; listening to the songs that he used to sing. It was more painful than I can use words to describe. We no longer attend church there (another post that can’t be elaborated on here) as I finally couldn’t try to find God through the pain, there, any longer.
We are fortunate enough to have so many recordings of Jonathan speaking and playing/singing music. Although I always knew what a treasure and blessing that was, it had also been a source of deep pain. Now, seven years later, it is still difficult to watch and hear those things, but I do try now. I also try not to immediately skip the songs that I once loved.
The pain is and always will be there. It is triggered by thoughts of him, memories of us, places, smells, people, milestones, and so much more; the biggest one is music. I’m grateful that I can now feel the thankfulness I have for it all and smile, even if it is only once in awhile. Just like anything that causes the hurt and pain to surface, it is so important that we feel them; that we face them. They aren’t going anywhere. They stay with us and build up and fester without an outlet for them to come out. It is so difficult but such an important part of moving through grief. I believe it is something that I will have to continue to work through, forever. When I get discouraged or the thought of that makes me feel overwhelmed, I remind myself that deep grief is a result of deep love and given the chance, I wouldn’t go back and miss the love in spite of the pain.
The following is sung/played by my husband, Jonathan Roberts, click on the link below: