Music is the universal language, or so I've been told. Music has always been soothing for me, from the time I was a very small child. I associate music with memories, both good and bad. This can definitely be good, but also potentially problematic. Just last night I was on a date and a song came on the radio that reminded me of B. A funny memory, but the tears pricked at the corners of my eyes anyway. I had to look out the window, away from my date, and laugh it off as if he said something REALLY REALLY funny. Awkward, party of 1? Yeah, that would be me.
I'm also the girl who will burst out singing along to instrumental music in the elevator, put on really wierd music while I do chores, get lost in a record store (and I mean for HOURS), and can assign a specific memory to every vinyl in my collection. I define my life periods by music, and some musical memories hit me harder than others.
Our wedding song.
The song that was playing in the car on my way to the hospital to have our first son.
The song that was playing in the car on the way to the hospital to have our second son.
The first song we ever danced to.
The song that was played at the first concert we ever went to together.
Any song by his favorite band.
Any song that is on our road trip play list.
The song that he always said he wanted to have playing at his funeral.
The song that was playing in the car on the way to the hospital when I got the news that B was dying.
The song that my best friend played for me to comfort me when I felt so lost without my soulmate.
The song that I played at his memorial service.
Any or all of these can bring a smile to my face or bring tears of overwhelming sadness. There are songs that I listen to now that will make my heart break into a million pieces. Even though he never heard them, and they hold no significance to our relationship, there are lines that just say everything I have been feeling since I was set adrift in this ocean of grief. It is times like this when I am reminded of some of the best lines written about the torture of pop music:
"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?"
-Nick Hornby, High Fidelity