The Music in Grief

No, Kermit the Frog does not necessarily remind me of grief but it does remind me of his famous song “It’s Not Easy Being Green”.  I’d just change the words to “It’s not easy being a Caregiver”.

If I could sum up my life in a song right now, it might go something like this.  It would probably be piano music since I am most familiar with the piano as an instrument.  The piano is versatile just like I need to be as a caregiver.  At times my song would be a slow lament in a minor key.  There would be phrases of the music that would play over and over again as I go through the daily routines that seldom change.  At times the beat would be very heavy and slow as I chant, “one foot in front of the other”  or “take one day at a time”.  Then there are the places in the score when it would be frantic notes, chaotic notes, madly racing up and down the keyboard as I go into crisis mode when Mom falls or she has a bad day and my anxiety rises sky high.  This frantic playing may go on for days until I can quiet myself into a lullaby of sorts because i am so exhausted.  Sometimes the notes would jingle along in a merry tune as Mom and I share a great memory and a laugh.  Sometimes the music would be like on an old player piano that would just play all by itself when I am on auto – pilot, unable to function well.   Then there are the times when the music would be a shrill pounding of high pitched notes that would echo through time and space bouncing off of walls and crashing into each other as I am curled up in the basement screaming and screaming till there is nothing left but an eerie silence as the music pauses before it gently plays quiet tunes while the tears fall.  This song has no end – at least no end that I can see.  The music just keeps playing and playing, rising and falling, fast and slow, on and on and on.  I am tired of playing my song.  I want it to stop but it can’t stop, not yet. Sometimes I scream for the music to stop and I cover my ears but it is always present in my mind.  I am also at the same time as wanting it to stop, scared silly if it does stop.  What will I do with out  the music??  It’s like a friendly nightmare.  A rhythmic gentle reminder that my Mom is still alive and all is right with the world.  Only all is NOT right with the world.  One of these days the music IS going to stop – DEAD.

Will I go crazy without the music??  Will life stop??  Will the silence be deadening??  What to do. What to do.

I know.  What if I pick a new song?  A new song for me.  I could go to I-tunes ( me-tunes)  and check around for a new song for myself.  What would I pick?  Well, probably something soothing and something at the same time daring and adventurous.  A piece of music with twists and turns and I’d find a piece with a fiddle as well as a piano to add a catchy rhythm.  And what about some bagpipes thrown in for good measure,  and lots of drums.  Oh, and a harmonica.  I love the harmonica.  And for those days when I want to curl up with a good book what about the sound of a rainmaker.  Such a soothing, gentle sound.  At times though,  there would be a haunting lament playing as I remember and grieve.  I could then, pick a new song for myself.  But do I have the courage to do it??  I will be so afraid when Mom goes.  Maybe it will be like the song with the iconic words “the day the music died”.

But then,  I forget that the master songwriter already has a song picked out for me to play or to sing.  It says in Psalm 40:3 “He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord”  I don’t have to search for the perfect song.  God has the perfect song just waiting for me.  I only have to learn it once the old song is gone. It might take a lot of practicing and hard work but nothing could be harder than what I am going through now.  This new song will have hope and relief and joy and sadness all mixed in.   And it will be the most beautiful melody in the world.

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