Recently I blogged about whether music can heal chronic illness and today I felt a need to extend that as to whether music can help in navigating grief..
I really really think it can, it can temporarily ease some of the suffering or it can allow you a chance to cry or experience emotions that may not be possible without music behind you to support it..
Today I received the memorial card for Ally, my sister in law who died on the 29th November last year. Like everything Ally did, even her memorial card had an Ally touch (see photos below) – She loved her red lippy!
Last night at a corporate event with Kíla, I met someone who knew me and who had worked with Ally. She brought up how much Ally was missed and asked me how I was? My eyes welled with tears as they always do when someone unexpectedly mentions Ally and I got stuck for words. I really didn’t know what to say…
Grief is such a strange thing..but as I was at a work event, I composed myself and kept going with what I was there to do which was to be there with Kíla at a Kíla concert. I took a moment and took time to listen to the music from the stage and when the mutual acquaintance engaged again about Ally, I was able to have a conversation with her.
Ally was 43 when she died. She was very young. Her children are 10 and 6 and my brother, her husband is 40. Her death hit me hard. It hit everybody hard but most of all it hit her boys hard.
I didn’t really know how to grieve when my grief felt so insignificant when compared to the grief of her husband, her parents, siblings and children .
I decided to use music, to use music to let me cry. I decided to use music, to use music to celebrate Ally’s life. I decided to use music to teach me how to grieve.
Did music help me navigate my way through grief? It really did and does.
This post is dedicated to Alison Kelly (Ó Riagáin) who is missed enormously by those who knew and loved her.