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Archive for September, 2010

My new CD, “The Demise of the Goodhearted Woman: A Sad Little Story Told in Narrative and Song,” is now available through www.thebookhavenonline.com   This release is a joy, and I want to tell you about it.  At the end of my last blog, I said that I planned to speak of the “afterward” of caregiving.  That was back in early February.  Then another family member died, and I watched a new widow begin the grieving process, and I didn’t write the blog I had planned because I realized (once again) that every person grieves and recovers in a uniquely personal way.

I didn’t feel qualified to speak for that new widow.  I can speak with validity only of my own journey through grief and my own recovery.  “The Demise of the Goodhearted Woman”  is an example of what I did to rebuild my life.

I began to write the music and narrative for my new CD ten years ago.  And then my husband’s illness became more grave, my mother’s Alzheimer’s condition required more time and energy, and I set the songs aside.

After the death of both of my loved ones, when my caregiving tasks were over, I began to look at my own life and to consider how to rebuild it. When your spouse dies, you lose not only the emotional structure of your life, you lose the daily structure of your life as well. Without a definite plan for the activities of each day, I felt myself drifting into loneliness and depression.  And I was too proud and stubborn to let that happen.

One thing my husband had not shared with me was music making, and when I was involved with music, I found I didn’t miss him as intensely as when I tried to do things we had done together.  So I focused on music. I went to the files for those old songs.  I bought some songwriting software for my computer and began to create sheet music.  I tuned my baritone uke and sang the songs over and over until I was familiar with them once more.  Then I gathered the talented people who are in my band, and we found a brilliant engineer to record the story.  I asked an artist friend to do an original cover for the CD.

Now, this wonderful week, ten years after I began the CD, when I look at that bright-colored cover and listen to the songs, I realize that even if you think you’ll die yourself when your loved ones die and leave you bereft, you don’t die.  It sometimes seems that it would be easier if you could go with them.  But you don’t die, and slowly you come to see that you have choices.  You have earned something through your painful journey.  You’ve earned the freedom to follow your own dreams without turning to consult another about the cost in time and money.  And as you accept this bittersweet gift of freedom, you find new purpose within yourself.  At least that is what happened to me.  I remembered that as a writer, songwriter and storyteller, I am a creator.  And now the CD is finished.  I am filled with joy.  I’ve had such fun writing and singing this story.  I am alive again.  Creation is life.  Creation is Life!

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