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Music has always played a huge roll in my life.  Since birth I've had headphones on, even to the point where I hear music when there is none.  There has always been a song for my mood.  No matter how funky or blue, happy or melancholy I've always been able to find music that fits.  However over the last few years especially I've found myself searching for something that's out of reach.  Nothing makes me happy or soothes the mood.  Nothing fits.

Love songs are just a painful reminder of what I've lost.  Breakup songs just piss me off.  Our relationship had not ended by choice, or by the mistakes either one of us made.  Even the blues doesn't give me what I need, because now I judge the bluesman on his pain.  Not fair, but that doesn't change how I feel.

Live music had always been a passion of ours.  Our courtship began at a Def Leppard concert.  Over the years we had been to more shows than I could count.  A few stand out though.  Vicky had always been such a huge Garth Brooks fan, she tried to drag me to a show 20 years ago.  Not being much of a country fan at the time I declined.  I did promise to take her next time.  That turned out to be a year later, and again I declined.  I felt bad about that for 20 years.  The last few years Garth came back around, and even though we needed a wheelchair to get her there (she had battled cancer for 8 years) I finally took her.

If you've never heard "The Dance" by Garth Brooks, do yourself a favor and go listen.  Bring some tissues, because it's bound to hit home.  It's about being grateful for having had a good life together.  It's about being glad you didn't know how things would end.

I count it among my favorite blessings, being able to hold her during that song.  Got to do it twice, though I wish it were twenty times.

None of us can see the future.  We couldn't before, and we won't after this.  I wouldn't change a thing that we'd done.  Not one thing.  I hope to carry that mentality into the next chapter of my life.  I hope I never question where or when things will ever end in the future.  I trust and believe that God keeps a path clear for me, so long as I'm looking for it.  I would hate to think what I'd have missed if I had avoided all the pain, as bad as it's been.  I truly want to feel joy again.  I know it may be years, but I can accept that.  What I won't do is leave anything on the table.  Vicky never did.

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Comment by Steve yesterday
The song that always gets to me is "Like you'll never see me again" by Alicia Keys. I remember driving to the pharmacy after i just just dropped Mike off at home from the drs appointment where the doctor had just told us he was stopping treatment, and the time was coming fast, for mike to pass. This song came on the radio, like a message from heaven. "It wasnt the time yet to grieve", " hold it together to make the most of the days, weeks we had left, there was plenty of time to grieve after he passed". Amazing to me these decisions we have to make at points in our life. Sometimes whether to go out to dinner, or buy a new car, can be such a difficult decision for us, and then other decisions, pale in comparison. I made up my mind at that point, i was going to be strong as i could, try my best to allow mike to discuss anything he wanted, just to be a companion, in service to provide everything i could.
Comment by happylilycat on April 29, 2017 at 7:26am

Colin, in case I haven't already said it, I'm sorry you lost your Vicky. I am glad you like the Foo Fighters song (love that band), I scream it in my car sometimes, and people think I'm crazy.  Crazy with grief, yes.  Peace to us all here, and a kelly green strat is just too cool for school. 

Comment by kellygreenstrat (Colin) on April 29, 2017 at 7:08am

happylilycat, Thank you for those songs, I checked them out and I can see why you listen to them.  The Foo Fighters resonated the most with me, I'll have to pick that up.  I don't usually seek angry songs, but that one struck a raw nerve which moved me.  I'm so glad that you have music close to your heart, it's good for the soul.  And yes I do have a green strat, though I forget what color Fender says it is.  Just liked the name.

Comment by happylilycat on April 29, 2017 at 3:26am

Best songs for mourning ever: the Wallflowers, "One Headlight", Foo Fighters, "One of these days", and Audioslave, "Like a stone". They are all absolutely gorgeous and true. 

Comment by happylilycat on April 26, 2017 at 5:58am

Colin, thank you for this beautiful post. Do you really have a kelly green stratocaster? How cool is that! My husband Morris was a musician (drums were his primary instrument, though he played bass and piano, too).  We sang in a small band we cobbled together from local musicians in our town in Maine, and it was a blast! He wrote his own lyrics, and a talented local musician did the arrangements. I have so many fond memories of singing backup for his songs.

We had no prima donnas, just folks who loved music.  I will always cherish those memories. Morris and I also did a good duet of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" whenever it came on the radio and I was in his workshop. 

The songs now that remind me of him most are Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" and Salt and Peppa's "Whatta Man". May we all find some peace today despite our great losses. 

Comment by Morgana (Janet) on April 23, 2017 at 1:30pm

Well said Colin and yes "The Dance" by Garth Brooks is one of the best songs he ever did. Love it and listen to it often. No regrets here either.

Comment by MenuFalls on April 21, 2017 at 6:21pm
I lost my husband in December of last year. Yesterday on my Facebook the "on this day" was when he took me to a surprise concert 4 years ago when we were still dating. It was Peabo Bryson, Jeffrey Osborne and Freddie Jackson, some of my
Favorite artists, music that he knew I loved. He loves all kinds of music, but it was a special night He took me to. Music plays a big role, and I can listen to a few notes of "get here" by Oleta Adams, and I start to cry. I think music is the soundtrack of all of our lives and for some of us it has a deeper meaning than others. "Summertime" by brad paisley brings me back to being in his car driving home from a roadtrip. Even all the months we spent choosing our wedding song and how important it was to us, and the cakecutting song and the song to walk into as our first time introduced as "husband and wife"-it was a really special time for us to plan all of that together. Thank you for posting. Big hugs to you.
Comment by Steve on April 20, 2017 at 7:03am
Hi Colin, this was beautiful. Thanks for writing it, It touched me. im also a guy that loves music, it is always in me every day. So many songs are "ours" meaning have had such emotional ties, memories to me. A song will remind me of this event or this time.
I cant remember how long it was that i stopped the music in my life, when Mike passed. I hadnt even really noticed.
But at some point, i remember thinking to myself in the car, Wow! I havent heard any music in a long time! It was just too painful for me. For a long time, when i listened to the radio, there were many songs i stopped, changed channels, because i couldnt hear them. Too painful.
Out of all the fun, adventures, things we did and accomplished in our 30 + yrs together, the things i cherish the most are the feelings we shared, daily for each other. The moments holding each other, looking at the ocean, or the mountains from a cabin, being so grateful to have each other. All the hundreds of times we looked at the stars just the two of us and talked about all the things we saw in the night sky. Im so grateful for the wonderful chats we had at night in bed, about our day, or about our friends, family, the funny people we saw or met. We would laugh so hard. no matter where we were, what we did, we needed to do it together or couldnt wait to share it together in conversation. We had to be near each other, in each others arms as soon as we could, if our responsibilities took us away from each other for a day, or longer.
After the doctors told us there was no more hope, and we stopped all treatments, i cherish now, the wonderful things Mike said to me, at the time so painful, because it represented an accepting that Mike was leaving, our life together was really coming to an end. But he gave me such gifts, in sharing how much he loved me, was so grateful for me, said how i was the best partner a guy could wish for, and how he wished we could start all over at the begining, and do it all over again, together. He also told me he wanted me to move on, find another love, be happy, enjoy my life, and he would be there waiting for me to join him, when it was my time. These things were so hard to hear at the time, i couldnt imagine facing 1 day without him, nevermind, the rest of my life. But as time has moved on, those words have helped me, knowing i did the best i could with Mike, and i did a great job loving him, caring for him, sharing our lives together. Who can ask for more than that? It has given me peace at times, since, that Mike knew how much he was loved, i wanted another 30 yrs with him. When Chris, my new partner, popped into my life, about 4.5 yrs later, it was still difficult for me, to allow my heart to let go, allow my heart to love another person, in that way, but i had Mikes words ringing in my head, to allow myself to love again. Our hearts do have the capacity to love more than one person.
Comment by Athena53 on April 14, 2017 at 7:19am

Last night I was on a plane to Panama listening to music when I decided I wanted something more contemplative than "Paradise by the Dashboard" light. I chose "Your long Journey" by Robert Plant and Alison Krause and cried through it. It was wonderful. My seatmate was engrossed in his movie, which was fine. DH liked sitting and listening to music and I tend to listen to podcasts when I'm knitting. We have two sound systems that are almost never used. Maybe I should play music more often.

Comment by sandi on April 13, 2017 at 5:09pm

I am having the same issue with music.  After all the concerts and I still have all the albums from the 70's and 80's  I am struggling with music.  The only time I seem content listening is at church (crazy right).  I also try to greatful for the many years we had together (43) and that some day I will be happy again.  I wish God would give me a clue as to what my path will be, but so far I'm still waiting.  Thanks  Sandi

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