I was too devastated to speak at his service but later that day did I ask to have a song I had written play at a private family function because music was the only communication I could fathom bridging life and death as well as representing the bond between us as brother and sister.
My Father’s ashes were fed into the Atlantic Ocean by my sister, her children and I as my mother watched us in her wheelchair from the boardwalk. None of us spoke. The wind and water did all the talking and without words we collected iridescent seashells and stuffed them into our pockets for keepsakes on a day that required no human sound. Our breaths were literally carried away. My Mother’s memorial was held in a library and I feel like that symbolically speaking it was the mother of all great silences. Libraries are obviously quiet places and it seemed very appropriate to find a space that would promise me a blanket of hush I had grown so accustomed to from funeral’s past. No voice would match the soothing melody of my mother’s speaking voice and it would have been a crime to try and resurrect it and pass it through my lips. I dreaded hearing everyone else speak that day for the very same reason. To my ears and through my life experiences, death truly has no sound and is represented by a lack there of. The sound of the living paying respects and grieving only masks the epic and startling sound of emptiness we face when we lose someone forever. Music has grown to represent life to me and in turn I don’t just surround myself with it, I gorge myself upon it. As long as I have music, can hear music, play music, make music, I am not just happy, I am vibrant and very much alive.