Using music in grief

Music can be a friend in grief, or it can be an enemy…like almost anything. It has been helpful from my point of view, but there are still those songs. I clearly remember the day a friend came around a few days after Chris passed, and intended to play a video on her phone to comfort me, a video of me and a mutual friend playing guitar together. The song was anything but comforting. Bob Dylan’s ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ rang out as I silently wished for the moment to be over.

Conversely, I have written briefly before of the importance of music in ritual. Aside from that incident, I recall another where many of the people who had known Chris ‘gathered’ and played George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord’, our way of praying her home.

Songs remain which start me looking for exits if they’re playing in public places. Unless it’s John Lennon’s version, you can forget about ‘Stand By Me’. (I can only stand Lennon’s version because there seems to be very little emotion in it.) Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Bad Moon Rising’ is another one, for obvious reasons. Memories of disaster lurk on every corner, in every note, with that song.

What are your songs, the songs which bring you to your knees, or those which cause you to celebrate that person?

Feel free to share by leaving a comment.

Picture credit:

Image: J Fry /

About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
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