Utilize The Healing Power of Music

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“How are you doing?” While that question directed at someone who is grieving is usually posed with good intentions, sometimes it’s hard to express how you feel with words. That’s why finding other ways to express or process your grief is so important.

I’m not musically talented, so the way I express my grief is through listening to music that helps me feel what I need to feel or that helps me put my feelings into words. Specifically, I remember driving in the car to order flowers for our daughter’s casket and a song started playing that may seem like it doesn’t relate on the surface because it is a love song. However, the words rang true to me and I felt like the songwriter had expressed exactly how I felt. The song is called, “Dreaming With a Broken Heart,” by John Mayer. I heard the words:

When you’re dreaming with a broken heart
The waking up is the hardest part
You roll outta bed and down on your knees
And for a moment you can hardly breathe
Wondering, “Was she really here?
Is she standing in my room?”
She’s not, cause she’s gone, gone, gone, gone, gone.

Those words described my feelings perfectly. The song expressed how brokenhearted I felt when I woke up each morning and realized that losing my daughter was not a dream and I had to face the reality that she was gone. This was one of the most difficult parts of my grieving process in the beginning and listening to this song made me cry, but it also helped heal my heart in a way when I listened to it. Part of the grieving process involves allowing yourself to feel the emotions that come up and listening to this song helped me feel the brokenhearted loneliness. When I needed a good cry, I could count on this song.

On the other hand, music can bring us hope and positive healing. Another day, we were driving in the car again and I heard a song titled “More Time” by a band called Needtobreathe. In the song, he is asking for more time to get through some unexpected things. He says that if she gives him more time, things will be all right. The lyrics that stood out to me go:

We’re off to new lands
So hold on to my hands
It’s gonna be alright
Yeah, the road gets harder
But it’s not much farther
It’s gonna be alright
You know that it ain’t easy
Please believe me
It’s gonna be alright

Please don’t worry now
It will turn around

The words I heard brought me to tears again but this time, they were hopeful tears. I knew that the words were true and that things were going to get better but I just needed to give it some more time. My daughter who was only four years old at the time even felt the power of this song. She told me she liked it and I asked her why. She said that it made her feel like it’s going to be okay. Even a child can feel the influence of a song.

The power of music in the grieving process can be to heal and to provide an avenue for expression. There are many other ways music can help you in your journey towards recovering from a loss. I have found many songs throughout my life that help me realize how I am really feeling or help me express it in a better way. These two songs in particular filled different needs for me and even when I hear them today, I still feel the power of the words and music. I encourage you to find music that helps you feel or express feelings. It may come from a song you wouldn’t expect, but be open to whatever will help you and you will be able to make some progress on your journey.