I am getting used to this life.
Living in a shade of gray, instead of the entire color spectrum. Although sometimes there are moments of white, and when I really work at it, a hint of life in color.
I have an understanding, and know that as time passes, the depth of that understanding will become so great, that I’ll be able to live in the full spectrum.
But the gray- it adds depth, and it makes the images in my life, my movie, so much more beautiful. It gives me a greater understanding of what my own journey is about, and it forces me to try and understand and empathize for everyone else’s around me.
That part is not easy for me. It’s work I have to do.
Many times I do the work with music. I hear a song, and I identify the beauty and pain of the love and loss. I hear the soulfulness, the deep dark grays of the love and tears behind the lyrics. When I come upon a song that moves me like this, I often listen to it over and over again; identifying that love, that loss, and singing the lyrics, but mostly with the feeling of the emotion and tenderness, to Luca and to Gina.
So much of Luca’s birth playlist had these same songs on them. But there are new songs written or that I hear for the first time that I connect with, that I wish he was in my belly for him to hear them.
After our bereavement committee meeting last week, one of the nurses had recently gone to a palliative care conference, and brought up the idea of offering music therapy to loss families for when their child was with them for the first and maybe last time. I thought this was such a beautiful thought. If the child was known to have passed in utero, for that birth playlist, for all the music that child had listened to in its mother’s womb, to be played as its body entered the physical world.
For mothers like Gina and I, the music would have been playing and welcomed Luca as they unhooked him from the machines that were keeping him alive, and placed him in our arms to live for just a few minutes, before taking his last breath. That music would be his soundtrack. It was his soundtrack. I listened to those songs everyday and sang to him, or danced with him. Gina sang her songs to him through my belly button.
I sit here, at 3 in the morning, in this dark and quiet house, wishing I had thought of that.
I put on The Lumineer’s song, “Stubborn Love”, and I sing this song to myself in the car, at my desk, in the shower. I feel the intensity of the emotion in my chest. Tears fill my eyes, reminding me I’m alive.
“It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So pay attention now, I’m standing on your porch screaming out
And I won’t leave until you come downstairs”
To listen to the entire song:
I also sing the songs that bring be tremendous hope, that I think Luca puts on the radio station to remind me I’m alive and I’m going to make it. That after all this gray from the rain, they’ll be a rainbow of color once again, more radiant than anything I’ve ever experienced before.