Loss is an indescribable feeling. While it's difficult to put those emotions into words, music can offer a way to find solace or understanding through the grieving process. For the October collaborative blog, the collective curated a playlist of songs that explore the emotional complexities of grief, ranging from lo-fi acoustic music to crushing noise metal.
The playlist moves from light, acoustic to heavier songs.
Curated by Noè, Andres Alex and Parisa.
Notes from Parisa on some of her song selections:
For me, one of the hardest parts about grieving is the constant thought of regret. The regret of not expressing enough appreciation for someone while they were still with us, regret that I didn't spend more time with that person when I should have, etc. That's why "You've Passed" by Neutral Milk Hotel is a grief song that really touches home.
And I wanted to hold you
As you made your escape
But now I should have told you
When your eyes were alive and awake
Always in life we all must make this mistake
The last line there makes me know that I'm not alone in this feeling, and furthermore, to remind me to express my love and gratitude for my loved ones every chance I get. (This song was also written by Jeff Magnum about the passing of his grandmother, and I was also lucky enough to have a very real visitation dream from my grandmother with this song playing in the background. To this day, it's still the best dream I've ever had.)
I've added a few songs that may not have intentionally been written about grief, but certainly fit the theme. "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself", a song originally written by Burt Bacharach and covered by dozens of artists, may perhaps be about a break-up. Either way, it reflects the day-to-day experiences of moving through loss.
Movies only make me sad
Parties make me feel as bad
Cause I'm not with you
I just don't know what to do
Like a summer rose
Needs the sun and rain
I need your sweet love
To feel all the way
Well, I don't know what to do with myself
Just don't know what to do with myself
There's a point in grieving when the immediate support seems to fade, and you're left to go about "life as usual". That song reflects that difficulty of enjoying things again when you reach that phase, and the difficulty of feeling stuck there.
I've also added Scarcity's new album, Aveilut, which is one of my favorite albums of the year so far. Aveilut is a 45-minute composition that mirrors the harrowing void of death, loss and grief. Featuring Randall-Myers (Glenn Branca Ensemble) and Doug Moore (Pyrrhon, Weeping Sores), the duo draw inspiration from recent real-life experiences of losing loved ones, and in turn present a painfully raw and honest reflection on what it means to confront mortality. The album phases between hyper-claustrophobic blast beats and vast, open ambiances to allow the listener to explore the endless emotional nuances to be faced with death, but ultimately come out feeling a sense of endurance rather than hopeless dread.
For further reading on T&E, I recommend Brandon's article from 2019 titled On Music & Loss: How Songs Immortalize the Ones We Love.
Articles from the American Counseling Association
What's Your Grief?
Tu Nidito, an organization in Tucson that offers social services for children, families and young adults who are grieving the loss of a loved one
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