Music That Saw Me Through Grief

Music That Saw Me Through Grief

“If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare

I love music. All kinds of music. I could be listening to hardcore “screamo rock” music one minute and then the next, be listening to a classical piano piece. My eclectic taste in music probably comes from my upbringing, from my dad’s own wide variety of music and vast collection of albums. I spent all four years of my high school career in multiple choir classes.

And my husband, Joe, and I have bonded over our mutual love of Dave Matthews Band and spent many summers through college following them around. But music has been something deeper for me, the songs and lyrics hitting the deepest parts of my soul. When I’m happy you can find me dancing around my kitchen like a fool, or when I’m sad you’ll find me in tears, feeling the pain of the artist mixing with the pain I feel.

So, when I had my miscarriage, it was music that I turned to in my sorrow. The songs I listened to matched every single emotion I felt through the whole experience, and still do to this day as I struggle through the five stages of grief. And that is how I framed this playlist I want to share with you, in the hope that you feel it and it touches you the same way it has touched me.

Denial:

When I lost my baby I spent days, maybe even weeks, thinking that the doctors were wrong somehow. I wanted to deny the anguish that I was feeling and escape back into a world where my child still had a heartbeat. These songs were that escape.

Fool For You” – John Butler Trio
Little Talks” – Of Monsters and Men
“My Love” – Sia

Anger:

Sometimes I get so angry it feels like my heart will explode from my chest. I want to scream and punch walls and pick fights with anyone within a hundred foot radius of me. It may be hard to believe but in those cases I turn to rock music. The more screaming and guitar shredding the better. Just that takes all the anger and confusion bottled up inside me and lets it go by the time the song ends. Throw in a little head banging and you got the perfect remedy for fury.

Pittsburgh” – Amity Affliction
Skeletons” – Heartist
Paradise Lost” – Hollywood Undead

Bargaining:

I would do anything to have my baby back, to know what they would’ve been like once they were born and watch them grow up. When it was still fresh in my mind I would speak to the universe and listen to these songs, asking what I could do to bring them back, even though nothing could be done to change what happened.

Stay With Me” – Sam Smith
Where Are You Going?” – Dave Matthews Band
Iris” – The Goo Goo Dolls

Depression:

As someone who has struggled with depression for some time now, having the weight of this kind of grief on me has been unbelievably hard to overcome. Some days it is hard to get myself out of bed, let alone function like a normal human being. This is when music is the most important to me, and it is the lyrics that speak to me the most. These songs are the songs I sing and cry to in the shower when I don’t want anyone else to see how deep the pain runs.

“The Stone” – Dave Matthews Band
“Dark Paradise” – Lana Del Rey
All I Want” – Kodaline

Acceptance:

While accepting what has happened has come and gone as I go through the stages of grief over and over again, I still feel hope even through all the emotions. Hope that someday I will dance around my kitchen like a fool again, or sing too loud at a Dave Matthews Band concert.

The Power of Love” – Gabrielle Aplin
Devil’s Been Talkin’” – NEEDTOBREATHE
“Grey Street” – Dave Matthews Band

Photo credit: adapted from kohlmann.sascha | Flickr

What are some songs that have helped you through grief? Please share in the comments. 

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Tessa Marlatt

I am a 2014 graduate of the University of South Carolina and married to an Army officer. We cheer loud for Gamecock and Buckeye football. When I’m not self-publishing novels or reading, two dogs and a cat keep me busy. In a past life I think I was a mermaid, but until I grow a fish tail I get my underwater time with scuba diving. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my angel baby.

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About Unspoken Grief

Unspoken Grief is a non-profit website dedicated to creating awareness and resources for anyone touched directly or indirectly by miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

©Unspoken Grief 2017; Devan McGuinness

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Unspoken Grief exists to provide peer-to-peer support and resources. The information on this site is intended only for advocacy and educational purposes. It's not intended to give medical advice, to diagnose or to offer treatment for any medical or psychological conditions. Please consult your own health care provider for your own specific situation and needs.