Music and Grief

I was afraid. If death could just sweep in and take Duane and Jody, then none of us is safe. Her death robbed me of an innocence of sorts…the belief that we all will live full lives surrounded by the people we love. But that all changed on January 26, 2003, and, now, I am a realist.

I’ve talked with thousands of people who have been in crisis of one form or another. I’ve walked through the grief process with friends who have lost babies, born and unborn, husbands, children and parents. So it’s not like I live in a bubble. But something was rocked and broken. Jody was gone and not coming back, and I was left in the rubble, numb and limp. I was personally forced to live in a new place, where death is real and can happen any time and anywhere…to ones I love. It just seemed so unfair. That made me angry, too.

I wondered about the plane crash. How could it have happened? Did Duane have a heart attack? Did the engine malfunction? This all made me angry at a loss that could not be recovered. Somehow violent death had a more preventable feel to it than a stroke or cancer would have. That was my experience.

I took me almost a year before I had the emotional strength to listen to “our songs.” I tried a number of times to listen to melodies we sang for years together, but I’d collapse in a pile of tears. But I knew that music had return to my life to water my soul and bring much needed comfort.

Fernando Ortega, a song-writer and singer was a favorite of both Jody’s and mine, put much of my feelings in a song he wrote, entitled “Now That You Are Gone”. The refrain made me weep: “Sometimes I still think I will see you in New York, and we’ll meet on the platform of the train, and with your great leaning stride you’ll cross back to my side, and my old life will be my life again.”

I folded in tears. I fiercely wanted my old life back.

In time, I reintroduced music—our music—to my life. I don’t cry any more, no long breakdown. In a way I did not expect, the music became a comfort, something I could participate in, and remember the years we enjoyed.

 

 

Barbara Francis

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A dynamic Bible teacher, Barbara makes the scriptures come alive and excels at relating biblical principles to everyday living. She loves helping people find hope by bringing Jesus into their actual lives, not the ones they wish they had. She is honest with her audience, encouraging them to be honest with themselves. Using humor and personal stories, she makes listeners feel as if she has read their personal journals or is speaking just to them. Barbara possesses the unique ability to speak truth and grace into people?s lives, no matter where the individuals are in their spiritual journeys. Barbara joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ in 1977. She is currently serving on the National Team for the Campus Ministry, giving focus to prayer on college campuses world-wide. In addition to campus ministry, Barbara has engaged audiences for nearly thirty years at hundreds of retreats and conferences in the United States, East Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Central America. She also founded Koinonia, a twenty-five-yearold women's fellowship in Salt Lake City, Utah, dedicated to teaching God?s word to women and reaching out to the community in a creative, evangelistic manner. Books by Barbara Francis include Unexpected Turns: Leaning into the Losses of Life and Following Him When I Can't See the End of the Road. She has also written three Bible study guides, An Invitation to Eavesdrop: Finding Yourself in the Psalms; Private Conversations: Reflections on the Prayer Life of Jesus; and Following Him When I Can't See the End of the Road: A Personal Study Guide, all of which are available by contacting the author. Barbara writes three inspiring monthly devotions enjoyed by thousands via email, entitled Embraced, Devoted to Prayer, and Prayer Pages. Married in 1974, Barbara and her husband, Bob, have two grown children and two grandchildren. To contact Barbara, order books or Bible study guides, sign up to receive Barbara's monthly e-mail devotions, or schedule a speaking engagement, please send email communications to: Barbara.Francis@uscm.org. Or write to: Campus Crusade for Christ Attention: Barbara Francis 100 Lake Hart Drive, Dept. 2500 Orlando, FL 32832

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