Friday, December 10, 2010

Blog #7 - A Widow's Playlist (part 1)

My 2nd "sadiversary" is fast approaching...

Yes. Almost 2 years since my husband Jason lost his battle to cancer. Blogging about my favorite singers earlier got me thinking about songs that have stood out in my mind in these past 24 months. So now I gots to type about them.

When Jason passed away in the ICU unit of the hospital, I was up there for another 2 hours or so. I had to make sure people that wanted to see him and say their final goodbyes got the chance, I had to sign a lot of paperwork, and pack up our stuff in the waiting room. I stayed until the funeral home picked up his body, and figured out who would stay with me that first night as a widow. I wasn't quite ready to face our apartment as only my apartment, so a big group of family & friends decided that I needed to go with them to Johnny Carino's where I could drown my pain with alcohol, and they could all try to feed me. I insisted on driving there alone. It was down the street, and to be honest, I just needed 5 minutes to myself. When I started up my car, my mp3 player started where it had left off.

I was in the middle of "The Block" (New Kids On The Block). Say what you want about NKOTB, but I have adored them since the age of 10, and that will never change.
The first song that I heard in my widowhood was "Don't Cry." It is a ballad about the end of a relationship.

"Oh, what if God wants to take me away? Oh, you better take me like it's the last time. Love me like it's the first time. I'll kiss you like it's the last time. And I'll love you like it's the first time."

Oh shit. God just took Jason away. We already shared our last kiss. I will never get to kiss him, hold him, be held by him again.

I let my car warm up while I sobbed all over my steering wheel cover. I needed those precious few minutes alone to start mourning my love.

The next few days I listened to a lot of music. I had to pick songs for his funeral. I had to pick music to mark the end of our marriage, just as we had done together for our wedding day to mark the start of our marriage. The two songs I decided on were covered in my Ink blog post, but just to refresh your memory:

Alanis Morissette "Torch"

"Miss your approach to life and your body in my bed"

How long would I sleep on top of the covers? I can't sleep under them. He slept there. It probably still smells like him.

"One step, one prayer, I soldier on. Simulating, moving on."

Time to pretend I have control of my life.

Depeche Mode "Death's Door"

"Father are you pacing? I'm coming home."

His father passed away a decade ago. Do you really get to meet in Heaven?

"Well, I'm knocking on death's door. Will I take my rest? Have I passed the test?"

I know there is a heaven and he is there. No doubt. Only faith.

There was a third song I wanted to play at the funeral, but it's an industrial song. I knew my friends would appreciate the lyrics, but I didn't want to scare everyone else. The song is "Beloved" VNV Nation.

I can't find a good video of it, so you just gotta go look it up. It is beautiful. Trust me.

"Moments lost, no time remains. I am so proud of what we were. No pain remains, no feeling. Eternity awaits."

I am extremely proud of the life Jason led and the relationship we shared. He is not in pain anymore. An eternity of peace is his now.

When I saw the band several months later, I had the opportunity to meet the lead singer at an after party. I told him my story and what those lyrics meant to me, and thanked him for writing them. He started to tear up and hugged me, telling me that this is why he loves meeting fans, to hear their stories and what the music does for them. It was a very healing moment for me.

Songs always bring emotions to the surface for me. And it can be from any part of my life, childhood, my high school love, my 20's with Jason, the start of my 30's with my new love, old friends, family I am close to, family I don't speak to, random memories. The following songs were on heavy rotation at the start of my widowhood.

The Dreaming "Whole"

"And I cry to the angels to bring you home to me. But that is not destined to be in this life. Now I'm lost and alone. Only you can make me whole. I am broken and alone. You have left this gaping hole in my soul."

Will this pain ever go away? How can I be complete without my other half?

I did think my life had ended too. But as I healed, I learned to be a complete person on my own, allowing me to love again.

The Dreaming "Let It Burn"

I can't pick one line from this song. You must look this up. Seriously.

I have met this band since Jason's passing. And again, I thanked the lead singer for writing lyrics that helped me through the darkest time in my life.

Band of Horses "No One's Gonna Love You"

"And anything to make you smile, you are, the ever living ghost of what once was. And no one is ever gonna love you more than I do. No one's gonna love you more than I do."

Is that true? Will I never find another love? Am I done with love at 28?

I now look at this song from the other perspective. No one will love Jason more than I did. He told me all the time during treatment that he fought hard to stay alive for me. He didn't think he would have fought at all had we not found eachother.

The Offspring "Gone Away"

This song has always affected me. I have always turned to this song for comfort when someone dies. It because especially important when one of Jason's best friends died 3 months after him.

"Pulled away before your time. I can't deal, it's so unfair."

Evanescence "My Immortal"

Yes, a bit of a silly band. Jason didn't care for them at all. He drove my brother and I to their concert and picked us up. He didn't have to go, and we got a designated driver. Say what you want, but her voice is amazing.

"Now I'm bound by the life you left behind."

He apologized for leaving me behind to deal with his mother. Long story short, we don't speak anymore. And he predicted that.

"These wounds won't seem to heal, this pain is just to real. There's just too much that time can not erase."

For a long time, I didn't think I would ever heal. Now I know it is an ongoing process and I am in a good place.

Tori Amos "Parasol"

"When I come to terms, to terms with this, my world will change for me."

"I stare at the wall, knowing on the other side, the storm that waits for me."

Again, this song relates to Jason preparing me for what was next. He told me he felt a guilty peace about dying. His problems would be over then, but mine would be far from over.

There are songs that remind me of us, of that chapter of my life that will be in a seperate blog entry.

Music helps to heal the soul.


  1. VNV Nation - Beloved is undoubtedly one of the best songs EVER.

  2. I made it through Christmas, the first of every single Christmas I'll never have with Kim again for the rest of my life. But six months in, I'm still sleeping on top of the covers, and I don't know when or if that will ever end. I haven't even been able to bring myself to change the sheets, because the last thing that was against them was his body.

    A few weeks ago, a Twitter friend sent me a quote from a book:

    "People imagine that missing a loved one works kind of like missing cigarettes," he said. "The first day is really hard but the next day is less hard and so forth, easier and easier the longer you go on. But instead it's like missing water. Every day you notice the person's absence more."

    And that is so true. The thing I've found hardest in the grief is that I was expecting it to get easier as time went on and couldn't understand why it was in some small respects, but was getting so much worse in the ways that were most crushingly painful. But now I know why: he was my water.