The other day Dot and I were off on a Mother/Daughter date, which involved a little shopping, yummy food, and lots of talking. At one point, as we were pulling into a parking lot, Dot glanced at me and said, “Mom, we haven’t been doing very much music at home since Lizy passed away. I miss it.”
I hadn’t really thought about it until she said something, but she was right. Something that had been such a standard in the home had slowly drifted away. I thought of the times – at least a couple times a week – we’d gather around the piano. I’d play, they’d sing or get out the rhythm instruments and make a grand ruckus.
We had tried a few times since Lizy passed away. The first time was a half-hearted effort reminiscent of the sad little scene in “The Sound of Music” where the children are sad that Maria left and they all drift off. It was kinda like that, but without anyone to rally us together.
It seemed like each effort of family singing time ended with girls crying into my shoulders and boys staring wistfully out windows. So, they slipped away.
Until Dot said something. I knew Lizy would be bummed that we weren’t singing like we used to. Heck, I was bummed.
So, today I decided we’d sing around the piano. It had been a while. Maybe it would be easier.
Well, I can’t exactly say we didn’t end in tears, and I can’t exactly say it didn’t put me into a bit of a blue funk, but I can say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was just a little easier.
I decided that memories are packed into music so tightly that for our family there is nothing that gets those memories and tears flowing like it. It doesn’t do any good to avoid Lizy’s favorite songs, because inadvertently I stumble across a song that I can just hear her singing in my head along with the girls. That happened today. It was wonderful and heartbreaking all at once.
It’s been over a year. I like to think we’re doing pretty good. But to say it still doesn’t hurt would be a lie. There are still many days where my heart feels like lead no matter how much fun we’re having, how much we’re laughing, how many adventures we go on. It’s just heavy beneath it all.
I don’t say that to whine. But I know so many people expect to “be better” or “back to normal” in a certain time frame, and there just isn’t a time frame on grief. Even after you have invited it to leave and thought you locked the door, it comes back for lengthy stays.
So, what is my point with all this and our music experience today?
Well, it was hard, it was really hard. Especially singing “Holding Hands Around the World” a song the girls sang in primary some years ago – Lizy would belt that song out like no other and I didn’t remember until we were all singing the song and I half-expected/half-heard her singing with us and I could hardly see the music, let alone sing.
But we do hard things. And, as hard as it was – as much as I wanted to erase the pain as I held a sobbing girl in my arms at the end – it was wonderful and it felt good and it was easier than the last time (we actually lasted close to an hour before the tears hit). So, I can only hope that each time gets a little easier and soon the memories will bring more smiles than tears.
Healing takes time. A lot of time. More than I ever would have thought being on the outside looking in, goodness – more than I thought being on the inside too. But it will come. And the reason it comes is because we have hope and faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement. That’s what keeps us going. Every day. He makes it possible to get through the heartbreak and do the hard things. He lifts us and carries us on when can’t possibly take another step. I have a testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and His atonement. I have a testimony of His, and our Heavenly Father’s, great love for us. I have felt it. It has buoyed me up when I thought I would drown. I have watched my children with their sweet perfect faith feel his love and share it with me. He is always there, loving, waiting, and hoping we will turn to Him. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father, and I know that someday because of all that Christ did for us, I will see Lizy again because our family is eternal.