As I’ve mentioned before, music is a healing thing for me, and I know many of you can relate. I’m from the generation that played a song so many times the tape wore out, and I wore out a LOT of tapes. I have a record player now, and I feel like I should have been a teenager in the ’60s the way I like to just sit and listen to records. There’s just something about it. Music connects with your soul, and it connects your soul to something bigger. I think it connects you to God, but if you don’t believe in God, believe this: When you listen to music for relief or healing, your heart connects with the heart of every other person who has listened to that same music for that same purpose. Just imagine the gigantic blanket of healing that Adele is knitting to wrap around the world and how many people are snuggled up under it, right there with you, feeling your pain. I’m cozy already.
I’m not Adele, but I’ve put together a mix of songs that has facilitated healing for me, partly because these songs are awesome and speak to me, but largely because most of them were suggested by friends and family. And knowing that these friends and family are connected with me through these songs just amplifies the effect. If the song you suggested is on this mix, thank you. I had not heard several of them before you brought them to my attention. And if your song didn’t make the cut, thank you too. There was more to the mix than just good songs, and some really great ones just didn’t fit.
This is my first attempt at adding a YouTube play list to a post, so fingers crossed (it’s also here if this doesn’t work), but you should be able to listen to the mix while you read the rest of the post, and as you do, know that if you are hurting, I’m here with you, and the music connects us.
- Poughkeepsie – Over the Rhine – This song is a little dark at first, but I have felt very dark at times, and I appreciate that someone else has too. It gets more hopeful toward the end, but it stays appropriately melancholy throughout. Sometimes you just need your music to agree with your mood. You don’t want it to cheer you up and nudge you past your feelings. You just want to cry and feel the pain, and that deserves its own soundtrack.
- Reminder – Mumford & Sons – Every time I look in the mirror and see the stretch marks I was starting to develop in pregnancy, I hear Marcus Mumford in my head singing, “A constant reminder of where I can find her, a light that might give up the way is all that I’m asking for. Without her, I’m lost. Oh my love, don’t fade away.”
- Tear Down the House – The Avett Brothers – “I remember crying over you, and I don’t mean like a couple of tears and I’m blue. I’m talking about collapsing and screaming at the moon, but I’m a better man for having gone through it. Yes, I’m a better man for having gone through.”
- Late – Ben Folds – A song about missing a friend who’s gone and wishing they were still around.
- World Spins Madly On – The Weepies – Oh man, who hasn’t felt like this? Your whole world is destroyed, but everyone else just keeps going like nothing has happened. It does seem mad.
- Fix You – Coldplay – “Tears stream down your face when you lose something you cannot replace.” Yep.
- Rally – Allie Moss – The theme song of everyone who loves me. My buddy Dallas suggested this one for the mix, which is perfect because she has certainly rallied around me like a boss over the past two months. Love you, bro.
- Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul – Indelible Grace Music – Man, I love me some Sandra McCracken. And old hymns. The words are just so rich and well-chosen. There’s so much in so little. The full lyrics are here, but just a sample for you: “Still the ear of sovereign grace attends the mourner’s prayer. Oh may I ever find access to breathe my sorrows there.”
- Beauty for Ashes – Shane and Shane – Originally, I had something else at this point in the list, but last week, as I was writing my post on healing, I remembered this song and knew it should be in the mix. I’ve always loved the Shanes.
- Held – Natalie Grant – You know, it’s funny. I have exactly one Natalie Grant song in my iTunes library. I’ve had it for YEARS, and it’s this one. The one about losing a baby. About how unfair it is and how horrible, but how we are not left alone, how we are loved and held, and how bitterness and hatred may numb the pain but they aren’t the only option.
- Unraveling – Shelly Moore – And a nice follow-up to the previous tune, “Yes I’ve found hope that stays around, and I’ve got peace that lets me wait this thing out. Just hold me while I await release, please.”
- Soul’s Repair – Red June – Bluegrass always makes me feel better.
- Born – Over the Rhine – “I was born to laugh. I’m gonna learn to laugh through my tears. And I was born to love. I’m gonna learn to love without fear.” There are so many tears and so much fear involved in losing a child and thinking about trying again. But I do feel that I was born to laugh and love, and although those “callings” (destinies?) are being challenged, I think I can learn to fulfill them anyway.
- Aslan – Kendall Payne – For those of you who have been under a rock for the last 50 years (or those who just forgot), Aslan is the great lion from the Narnia stories, and in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mr. Beaver tells the children that he isn’t safe, but he’s good. This song is about how God doesn’t do the things we expect, but that doesn’t change his nature. It’s also a tip of the hat to C.S. Lewis, whom I love.
- Rescue Is Coming – David Crowder Band – Just hang in there. Help is on the way.
- Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles – I designed this mix to run roughly through the emotions I’ve felt and thoughts I’ve thought over the past two months. It goes from dark and melancholy through tentative but wishful and finally into hopeful. If you were listening to it as you grieved, you might want to listen to the whole thing, or you might want to hang out in a particular section for a time. Either would be fine with me.
- After the Storm – Mumford & Sons – “And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.” I want to say something about this, but I haven’t quite formed my thoughts. Perhaps a new post is in the works…
- The Sun Is Rising – Britt Nicole – My sister Susan suggested this song, which is perfect because she’s an awesome encourager, just like the song. Every word of it is great, but all I really hear is, “You’re gonna make it. You’re gonna make it.” Love you, seeeesterrrr!
- O-O-H Child – The Five Stairsteps – Obvious choice.
- Sexual Healing – Hot 8 Brass Band – I know this one might seem like a VERY odd choice, but you just can’t listen to it and not feel a little bit better. Will and I went to the movies five days after our miscarriage because every good thing we have together has been built slowly over time while watching a lot of movies. There was no better place to start the healing process for us. We went to see Chef, which is just delightful, and I highly recommend it. In it, there’s a scene where Jon Favreau and John Leguizamo are singing this song while a 10-year-old kid looks at them like they’re nuts. I recognized the song before the singing started and would have loved it even if it had just been an instrumental cover, but it’s NOT. It’s got singing too, and it’s great.