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Minny9

Why "our" music hurts so much

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I met my late wife in 1994 when we were both 26.  It was an awkward time of self-realization and discovery, at an age when you haven't lived nearly long enough to know exactly who you are or who you'll become, but long enough to think you do.  We fell in love, and married 3 years later, just before we turned 30.  As it invariably does, music helped define us in those early days.  I recall fondly evenings slow dancing at her apartment to Seal and to The Cranberries, and even to U2 (of the early 90's).  It wasn't long after that I introduced my wife to a favorite band I had discovered shortly before we met.  I took strange satisfaction in knowing they were largely unknown and obscure.  But maybe because of it, this artist's music would become "ours", and, even more profoundly, become the anthems of our life together - from beginning to end.

 

My wife had lost her Mom to cancer 18 months before we met.  Another self-defining experience, to be sure.  One particular song by this band ("Don't, This Way" by the 77's) I immediately found to be extremely powerful and moving.  I played it for her a couple of times all those years ago, but did not tell her it was about death and the desperate sense of hopelessness that follows a loss.  I will never forget looking over at her one time while driving and seeing the tears slowly running down her cheeks as it played.  In the liner notes, the songwriter asserts: "Maybe the saddest song I’ve ever heard."  And to this day, I believe him.  And nearly 23 years later, as my wife neared her own death, this song played in my mind incessantly, in particular the last verse:

 

          "Don't leave this way, so many words unsaid 
          Don't lie this way, stretched straight from 
          Feet to head 
          Don't look this way, closed eyes, unmoving lips 
          Don't feel this way, cold hands and fingertips"

 

Another song by this artist became the song we danced our first dance to at our wedding  ("The Treasure in You" by the 77's).  Again, it wasn't a song anyone else likely knew, which was perfectly fine by us - it was "ours".  Recently I listened to this song for the first time in a very long time.  And aside from the expected sadness and sobbing, I also felt a real, tangible pain.  We always steadfastly believed the lyrics were perfect as our wedding song.  Yet what I'm now struck with, ironically, is the realization that the lyrics seem to have prophetically foretold her death:

 

          "Two lives, two faces intertwined 
          Something so down to earth and so divine 
          Is mine, and I.... 

          I never want to lose it 
          I never want to lose it 
          I never want to lose it 
          I never want to lose the treasure in you 

         And though one day baby I'll have to set you free 
         I'll still have all the love you left deep inside of me, and I... 
         I never want... 
         I never want to lose"

 

Thanks for letting me share.  I suspect I'm not the only one who finds music to still be a painful reminder of our loss.

 

Steve

 

(NOTE - full lyrics and music for both songs are found at the highlighted links above)

 

 

 

Edited by Minny9
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Steve,

 

Well my eyes are sufficiently cleaned out now thank you. We are from about the same era musically. My wife and I met in the college radio station where I was a DJ. New Music such as the Cranberries etc. although I never hear the 77s they would have fit in well with our musical style.  Still at 5+ years out music continues to hurt sometimes but more often it brings a smile now. Of course the two songs you highlighted may always be more of a pain trigger than a smile.

 

Thanks for sharing...

 

Rudi

 

 

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Thanks for that, Rudi.  I would challenge anyone to listen to "Don't, This Way" and not be moved to tears - it's that powerful, to say nothing of the hauntingly truthful words and despair so passionately expressed in his vocals.

 

On a side note...    For a long while I was uncertain whether to share my stories here.  Surely no one would find my tales of loss and misery worthy of their time - or so I was convinced.  But, as a young(ish) widower, I've learned this is a safe place with so many others facing similar challenges I've often thought could only ever be understood by me.

 

The post above is my most personal yet.  I miss my wife every day in every way.  It has only been 18 months since I lost that "treasure" that was her spirit and love of life.

 

Steve

 

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I'm very sensitive to music that was his tastes and collectively ours. We had such a long history together that music brings out the snapshots of our past life and on low days, it's super hard not to ignore it. I need to ride out the emotional roller coaster and get it though my system. Thanks for sharing your story. These stories truly resonate for many of us. Hugs today! 

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This was our first dance at our wedding, and it played at his funeral......  I knew at the wedding that I would use this at the funeral....
 
In This Life
For all I've been blessed in this life
There was an emptiness in me
I was imprisoned by the power of gold
With one honest touch you set me free
 
Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love's not worth going through
If it all falls apart
I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life, I was loved by you
 
For every mountain I have climbed
Every Raging river crossed
You were the treasure I longed to find
Without your love I would be lost
 
Let the world stop turning
Let the sun stop burning
Let them tell me love's not worth going through
If it all falls apart
I will know deep in my heart
The only dream that mattered had come true
In this life, I was loved by you
In this life, I was loved by you
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