Man Writes Music to Ease Grief

My name is Michael, and I lost my talented, loveable, indescribable sister to suicide, and my solid, strong, and loyal father to a cancerous brain tumor- in the space of half a year.

I don’t have to tell you how that felt. Most of you reading this have your own pain to help you empathize with my story. What I do want to share here with you is how I deal with it; how my music helps me and allows me to try and help others, how it brings me comfort, how it gives me strength.

For me, my more serious songs have always been a way to define my own feelings. As I write I’m looking into myself and trying to make sense of where I am in my life’s journey and where it is that I want to go. I also write some songs just for fun, or to express my love or to just try something new. I think all of these reasons are therapeutic as well and I encourage anyone on or beside the path of healing to find some creative way to reshape the waves of emotion and energy that come with grief and loss.

It is my hope that my songs might touch a familiar place in the hearts of those who listen, and in that moment of shared experience, that they be reassured and encouraged. I want grief stricken people to know that they are not alone – and I want my music to lead them right into the arms of the sort of people who make up The Open to Hope Foundation, The Compassionate Friends, and Grief Inc. and so many other loving, skilled, and unassuming people you will find represented here.

And so, for my first submission here, I offer the lyric to my song for “The Compassionate Friends”. May you find yourself surrounded by those who understand, and may you allow them to give comfort to you – and in the giving and receiving – may we all find ourselves farther down the road of healing.

I’ve got memories that I treasure

‘Tho some of them can bring me to my knees.

I think love is never lost forever.

It comforts me to hold on to belief.

But when I hear the echo of a voice I used to know

Or see the shadow of a loved one’s playful smile

I have to close my eyes and try to just let go.

And it helps to sing this song for just awhile .

Everyone wants to know why but I don’t have the answer.

Everybody needs a good cry Now and then.

Sometimes you look to the sky and cry out for the reasons.

But when you feel like you’re at the end

and your broken heart just won’t mend

You can Turn to the compassionate friends.

There’s an empty chair at my table

There’s an empty room up stairs.

Sometimes I don’t think that I’m able

To understand why life just isn’t fair.

But there are folks who understand the sorrow you feel

And they know how the healing must begin

So I’ll close my tired eyes and try to just let go

And be thankful for the comfort that they send.

Everyone wants to know why but I don’t have the answer

Everybody needs a good cry Now and then.

Sometimes you look to the sky and cry out for the reasons.

But when you feel like you’re at the end

and your broken heart just won’t mend

You can Turn to the compassionate friends.

You can hear this song – and many others at my web site

http://indiemusicworks.com/Michael_Nunley/

Michael Nunley 2012

Michael Nunley

More Articles Written by Michael

Michael Nunley's love for music began in his youth. He was singing in churches and sharing the stage with well known performers in shows and television appearances all across the Ohio Valley. Growing up in a military family, Michael traveled extensively. He considers himself blessed to have experienced the beauty and diversity of so much of our world and it's people. Michael was a music scholarship recipient at Walters State College and at The University of Tennessee. As a member of the U.T. Singers, he toured and performed as a soloist with "Tennessee's Musical Ambassadors." He continued his involvement in the performing arts, playing guitar, bass, synthesizer and percussion as well as expanding his vocal abilities. He began to write and record his own music while serving as Interim Worship Leader at his church. It was during this time he produced his first CD of original songs as a music department fund raiser. In 2010, the Governor of Kentucky awarded Michael membership in The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the state's highest title of honor, for writing and performing the theme song, "Because We Care", for the Kentucky Employee Charitable Contribution campaign. In 2000, tragedy struck twice, causing Michael to have a deeply personal change in his attitude and understanding of loss and grief. His sister, Cyndy, took her own life shortly before his father, Col. Billy F. Nunley (U.S.A.F.) lost his fight with a cancerous brain tumor. Michael is profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have written a song for The Compassionate Friends in 2011, and he found the experience brought him a new level of healing. He hopes to pass along some comfort with his poetry and music. He encourages others to use the creative process of writing, as he has done, to take care of "spiritual housekeeping" and help "Define, Confine, and then Refine " the sorrow into a more constructive energy. Michael says, "Grief is natural. What's UN-natural is dying from it in solitude. Accepting help, learning from it and passing along the healing is far better. That seems to me to be a cycle of life that will expand our compassion without killing the possibility of joy." You can hear more of Michael's music at his Web page: http://indiemusicworks.com/Michael_Nunley/

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  • Karen C says:

    Michael, thank you so much for sharing your words of wisdom and your beautiful voice in an effort to help many others. You are a wonderful example of how you can overcome loss and find joy again in life. You helped many here in Frankfort at our regional conference and I hope you get the opportunity to share your work with many others.
    Karen

  • Betty Shirley says:

    What a “blessing” you are able to share…because you care. We are not alone and folks such as yourself help others to know that. On behalf of those who will benefit from your insight and wisdom – I thank you, we thank you, so very much.

  • Brandi Reyna says:

    Michael,

    I am so sorry for your losses. Thank you so much for sharing part of your story with us and your song for The Compassionate Friends. It’s a beautiful song, and a great first piece for Open to Hope.

    May God continue to bless you as you continue to help others.

  • StrayDog says:

    “Grief is natural. What’s UN-natural is dying from it in solitude. Accepting help, learning from it and passing along the healing is far better.” What great wisdom. You have a gift and are using it. I did not realize your loss was 12 years ago – in many ways an eternity and yet in others like it was only yesterday. Joy has been a long time coming for you. You’ll do well brother.