Music as Therapy (tears allowed)

I spotted Mammy Woo’s meme ‘Music as Therapy‘ over at @TheBoyandMe Blog.

I wanted to be tagged as soon as I saw it and my little *ahem* collosal whingy tantrum led to me getting offers for tags 😮

So when @Susankmann tagged me in her own post for Music as Therapy,  I instantly knew which 3 songs to pick – err no I did not!

Music simply is therapy for me and over the years I have learned that belting a song out of my lungs has been the answer to the healing of my feelings: the ups; the downs; the absolutley in the depths of despair moments that have left me bawling instead of singing. But I learned that the more I sang to the songs that made me feel this way ….. the easier it got (a bit like facing your fears or phobias) …. and when I could sing the song without breaking down and eventually make it sound bearable to the ear – then I knew I’d come from a very desperate place to a place where I could cope and face the world whenever the subject of my feelings was a subject of conversation.

So I’m going to choose a time of my life when singing was a survival tool and the best therapy I could get at the time – when my Mum was fighting for her life with Cancer for 14 months and the Father of my First born chose to walk out and hitch up with a another woman …… no ahhs or feeling sorry for me on the latter – despite it being horrific at the time, given we had sold our house and were soon to be buying my parents house and he had now just caused H’Boo (2 yrs) and me to be homeless ….. my focus was all on my Mum as she deserved more than anything to have it all and, I’d done all my trying to figure out my useless husbands senseless jealousy of anything that wasn’t him or his selfishness.

It was that selfishness that would leave me in a room alone in tears when we first discovered she had cancer as he would walk in and then back out again with not even a ‘How are you’ or ‘What can I do to help’.

As her illness progressed I found myself with no shoulder to cry on as my own siblings were racked with desperate feelings of their own and naturally they ‘did’ have their own shoulders to cry on …… I was finding it hard to set up a new home, take care of my two year old, go to work (full time) and then come home to take care of my Mum.

What I did have, that I’d never had before was every other weekend to  myself. At first this was time that I could not bear to be in the house on my own, with too many things going on in my head to torture me, so I’d get out an stay out to return Sunday night when my Daughter returned. I’d then get back to the routine of dropping her off at 7.45am and picking her up at 5.30pm, spending a little time with her before bedtime.

I had no TV – well I did, but Mum wanted one for the bedroom and I didn’t have time to watch it anyway! So it was a wall of books and music to choose from and a year later a telephone connection (to get the internet on dial up!).

1) My first choice is easy …… it was more to do with the timing and that this was always coming on the radio at the times I was driving away from Mum & Dad’s in the car and when I (subconsciously) connencted the words to my own personal feelings, the first few times I heard it and the words ignited the motherboard in my brain – I would have to come to a grinding holt as it paralysed me in my seat!

Dido – Thank You

I would relate this to how no matter how bad things were (and they were) that the ‘best days of my life’ had involved my Mum and that coming to see her, I could pretend that everthing was OK once I was with her – at least for now, while she was still here with me. And although I was taking care of her – I needed her more! What was triggering the emotion, naturally was the not knowing how long that time would be – 14 months is a long time to watch your Mother fall to pieces.

I can remember all too well, taking trips to the loo to to sob for a minute, then dust myself down, adjust my makeup and go back to the office to pretend I was coping.

My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
and I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be grey, 
but your picture on my wall 
It reminds me that it’s not so bad, 
it’s not so bad 

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there’ll be hell today,
I’m late for work again 
And even if I’m there, they’ll all imply 
that I might not last the day 
And then you call me and it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad and

I want to thank you 
for giving me the best day of my life 
Oh just to be with you 
is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I’m home at last
and I’m soaking through and through
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn’t have a clue
Because you’re near me and

I want to thank you 
for giving me the best day of my life 
Oh just to be with you 
is having the best day of my life

After she died, I could not even press the ‘PLAY’ button to hear this song – but it was a short time later I realised that facing my demons and fears of not coping was the only way to come through them …….. so press PLAY I did and I learned sob through the words and eventually pour them out of my lungs as it became a song to pay tribute to her as a ‘Thank You’ for her strengths that had passed onto me.

2)  My second choice was a part of that same therapy when she was gone. It was almost like “Now what the hell do I do.”  Divorce is crap enough, but to loose your Mum with a toddler – who was exceptional and I so didn’t want to let her down. What if I couldn’t do as good of a job as my Mum (something I beat myself up about even today). Had I have had a shotgun licence at the time – I might have put it to my ex husband’s head. Not because he left me, or because he left us having to build a home from scratch, but because he not only offered no support, he made things as difficult as he could for her (not just me).

Call The Man – Celine Dion

Close the door
Shut the world away
All the fight’s gone from this wounded heart
Across the floor
Dreams and shadows play
Like wind blown refugees

It’s not that I wanted to give up – there just wasn’t anything left! I remember literally falling to pieces and wondering how the hell I was going to care for her. My ex husband even threatened to call social services when I got help with councilling, saying I was unfit to look after her …. this is where the poignant words of my Father echo through my brain and carried me through “You can’t save a man from drowning when you are drowning yourself”  – he knew that I had to save myself to look after her and although these are not the words you ever want to say as a parent – they are so true, you ‘have’ to listen!

Call the man
Who deals in love beyond repair
He can heal the world
Of hearts in need of care
Shine a light ahead
When the next step is unclear
Call the man
He’s needed here

I’m not sure what kept me going, I’d suffered from PND when she was 9 months old and had anti-depressants and councilling then ….. I managed to find strength without both this time, maybe because I had to do it on my own!

I close my eyes
I remember when
Your sweet love filled this empty room
The tears I cry
Won’t bring it back again
Unless the lonely star should fall 

Crying didn’t make it better and nothing was going to bring her back or change the way things were ….. but saying (or singing) the words seemed to be healing me, if only for a short time.

Call the man
Who deals in once upon a time
Maybe he
Can mend this broken heart of mine
Shine a light ahead
Now the future isn’t clear
Call the man
He’s needed here
Call the man
He’s needed here

He’s needed here
Right here right now

The future wasn’t clear – but the future was mine to decide what I needed to do and  didn’t settle for anything less than what we deserved.  I was accused of being an ‘angry’ person, if I didn’t come across as ‘needy’ or for having the attitude of ‘the buck stops here mate’ and as long as I’m in control, it’ll be my way or no way. I was NOT going to put myself into the same situation that my miserable marriage was – I would allow opportunities and give it a shot, but as soon as things weren’t fun or were going somewhere I didn’t want to be – I was not playing ball anymore.

3) And number three is when I jump through many years of missed opportunities (deliberately sometimes to avoid potential disasters) and even passing through a time when I could probably have earned a badge for ‘expert dating advisor’ …… you have no idea how many men use the same lines or same tactics – I could spot a ‘player’ in a football crowd, never mind on the pitch!

I guess, I’d reached the point of ‘if it isn’t going to happen, at least I’ve not fallen into any traps and had fun (a lot of fun) along the way’. I was still my own free spirit and was at the point of being there for other people, given I was practically life-coaching whilst running a succesful business as an Advance Sports & Holistic Therapist.

So I was in the right place and at the right time – no he was! *cough* when I gave in and agreed to meet HonieDaddy for dinner in as basic a place I could think of and having to drink Diet Coke, given I was driving …

A meal that went onto drinks in town (yes both os us drinking Coke) till 2am and having so much to talk about and laugh at – there was even a point when he got the evil eye & cold shoulder treatment from a group of 3 lesbian girls who were trying to get my attention when he nipped  to the loo ( I did look drop dead gorgeous and was a size 10 – something I don’t mind shouting out given I’d come through so much to get to this LUSH ME!).

This is the song that sticks with me from the first days of being with HonieDaddy to this very day and it’s iconic in the way we both felt at the time and today…

Jack Johnson – Better Together

There is no combination of words I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing, but I can try for your heart
Our dreams, and they are made out of real things
Like a, shoebox of photographs
With sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer,
At least for most of the questions in my heart
Like why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and
Sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together

Oh God how those words are so, so true for me (and HD) and the wonderful thing is 9 years after loosing my Mum and almost 6 years after findig each other – things are so much


Disclaimer (well not really):  If some of the above came as a bit of a shock, given I usually keep the personal stuff a bit close to my chest and always seem so upbeat and always offer positive advice and words of comfort for those of you who need it and for the rest of the time, I’m just dippy, happy, fun and friendly – then just remember – it’s what we go through that makes us who we are

I am dippy, happy, fun and friendly – and proud to have come through a horrendous place to get to the amazing life I live right now.

Thanks Mum xXx

Now who to tag …………

Check out the link at the top of the page for Mammy Woo’s Music as Therapy and take a look at the posts for @TheBoyandMe and @Susankmann so you can see what this meme is about and then share your 3 songs, from 3 performers/bands, with 3 different types of lyrics that you consider ‘Music as Therapy’

Jo at @breathetherapy






About HonieMummy (HonieBuk)

Vegan Mama. Organic Gardener. Guider. Admin for Veganuary and run my own Plant Based /Dairy Free page. Mum to 3, Wife to 1. Allotment holder and growing from home. Currently trying 'Back to Eden' method and studying a Diploma in Organic Gardening. Guide Leader and all round Super Woman (well trying to be) 😁🌱
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10 Responses to Music as Therapy (tears allowed)

  1. Pingback: TheBoyAndMe · Maternal Love

    • I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to make you cry. I never in a million years expected to lose my Mother so young (59) and especially not when my ‘First Born’ was so young. I felt robbed, it’s true, that when I had come to realise the true value of my Mum (something I think is only possible when you are a Mother yourself) – that she was taken from me.
      I could write a book about what things I’d love to have done with her and shared. I so wish she had seen me settled and happy (after divorce), had met HD and K’Boo and what I’d give for her to tell me I was getting smenthing wrong, never mind sitting in a coffe shop and stuffing ourselves with cake (just because).

      I ‘do’ envy Mums who have their own Mothers around – but I don’t wish for one minute their lives were any different – moreover, that they realise just how lucky they are.

  2. I cannot stand Dido normally but this song I adore. I think it means so much to so many people but for many different reasons. My best mate had it as her first dance at her wedding. I also love that Jack Johnson song.

    As you already know, this post has made me cry because it speaks of an event that I dread but that I know will happen one day. However, you have written with such love and happiness about your mum that it shows how much she gave you, how strong you are because of what she taught you and what a wonderful person you are. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, let alone on your own. Know that she is still with you and is infinitely proud of your achievements.

    • Aww thanks Honey and thanks for thinking of me as a friend (on your blog post). The last bit of mine is certainly true – it’s what you go through that makes you who you are. I don’t usually blog about things so close to the heart, but K’Boo started taliking about her recently (despite never having met her) and I guess it’s struck a chord. I wrote about my Dad back in April for his 70th and Mum was a part of that one too. My Dad has come through open heart surgery and cancer and we were sort of prepared for his life being shorter than Mums – it was a bit of a shock really, as she was so healthy (and young).

      A lot of our music colledtion is from the US. We have all Jacks albums and most before he got popular here – this is the song that reminds me of our first months together.

  3. actuallymummy says:

    Gosh I hope I’m worthy (this may take some time)

    • Don’t worry – go and take a look at some of the others on the meme – you can see who they tagged. Some are upbeat – and if I had done a selection from the last few years, mine would be! I chose a time when music really was therapy for me and thankfully its a time I can put behind me.

  4. You are one strong lady! To carry on as “normal” for your child as your world falls apart is bloody hard – sadly I know this from experience.

    Your Mum would be so proud of you & I’m sure she’d tell you that you are doing a brilliant job of raising her grandchildren.

    The Dido song is a song I liked but now I’ve actually sat & read the words properly I may have to go through “sobbing” therapy as the words have struck a chord with me.

    I’d like to Thank my Mum & have one more cuddle with her.

    Thanks for a beautiful post.

    • Thank you – I mean really ‘Thank you’. It’s hard to beleive looking back that I did come through.

      There are so many parent bloggers on here and some absolutely fabulous ones at that. There is lots of advice about being a Mum – but very little about loosing one – or appreciating that as a Mum, you are simply amazing, not least for all the things you encounter and carry on regardles.

      I guess that it is because there is little to have to say to someone who has been through this if you have been through it yourself. But then again, should we not identify and recognise that ‘similarity’ and celebrate our own efforts as Mothers – you did that for me today and I cried at the opening line …….. Thank You!

  5. I lost my mother a couple of years ago after a 20 month battle with cancer. I would have fallen apart if it wasn’t for my husband and his constant support. It must have been so much harder for you and I am so glad you have now “come through” this terrible period. You mention that there aren’t many blogs about losing a mother but on my blog I have written about my experience – and if you would like to have a read I would love your comments.

    • Thanks for your comments Jo and for posting this link. I will definitely read this (a little later – I’m just in the middle of NCT Nearly New Sale preparations for tomorrow morning). I hope others read it too and that they can gain from your experience.

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