Singer and songwriter Larry Stevens performs an acoustic set for The Open to Hope show. Music, art and other creative endeavors are fantastic tools for healing, but they can be difficult to incorporate into the grieving process. Music, whether performing or listening, can help address challenging emotions, but can also quickly become overwhelming. It’s just like when you’re falling in love; hearing a certain song on the radio can trigger overwhelming emotions. Fortunately, there are specific “grief songs” and “grief music” that are designed to help with the healing process at a steady pace.

Stevens is one of many performers who specialize in grief music. For many who have lost someone they love, especially recently, using music to help dismantle their emotions is critically important. They may avoid the radio, television or other “comforts” they perhaps enjoyed with the loved one who just died. Tapping into new sounds and new types of music therapy can be a fantastic blessing.

Music to Feed the Soul

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for music therapy. Finding types of music that soothes, heals and comforts takes a little trial and error. Stevens’ music is very popular and Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley often feature him on The Open to Hope show. He knows what it means to lose someone you love, and is happy to share his personal creation of grief therapy with the world.

If you know someone who is grieving, offering support can come in many forms. A gift of appropriate music can become a buoy, especially in the early days of grief. However, simply being present and open to listening and providing companionship is another means of support. Keep in mind that everybody mourns differently, and know that your presence is often all that’s needed.

Larry Barber

Larry Barber knows grief all too well. In May 1993 his wife Cindy and two year old daughter Katie died from injuries suffered in a traffic accident in Arlington, Texas. As a widowed single parent he raised two surviving children, nine year old Sarah and 12 year old Christian. Early in his grief walk, Barber cried out to send people and knowledge into his life that would help him and his children through his grief journey. In return, he has promised that he would gladly share what help he receives with other mourners. Since that promise, Barber has accepted a grief support ministry that has reached out to thousands who struggle after the death of a loved one. Marriage, couples, and individual counseling have been the focus during the 15 years Larry has worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor. He is convinced that through counseling, especially Christian counseling, marriages, relationships, and lives can experience healing, transformation, and fulfillment. Larry is a certified facilitator in Prepare-Enrich, providing marital and premarital counseling utilizing that program. Larry works with those suffering traumatic and life-changing events. He specializes in counseling for trauma, grief and loss, divorce, anger issues, anxiety, depression, chronic illness, and end-of-life issues. In addition, Larry has worked with men’s issues including pornography and sexual addiction.  Larry received his master’s degree in Counseling from Amberton University. Prior to that, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Oral Communications from Baylor University and a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Abilene Christian University.  He is certified in Thanatology (the study of Death, Dying and Bereavement) through the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC).  He has also received certification in Death and Grief Studies through the Center For Loss and Life Transition at Colorado State University. He is the author of the grief survival guide Love Never Dies: Embracing Grief With Hope and Promise. He served six years as a hospice bereavement coordinator; twelve years as a grief support group facilitator in Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington TX; and four years as the director of counseling and grief support for ChristianWorks for Children in Dallas TX. Barber conducts grief seminars, in-services and church presentations. Committed to sharing grief insights shared with him by fellow mourners, he is tireless in efforts to comfort and equip those in grief.

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