The Soundtrack of Our Lives

black cassette tape on top of red and yellow surface
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

 

I’ve never really been majorly “into” music; I’ve always bobbed around and liked what I’ve liked. I freely admit my taste isn’t particularly cool or hip but what I like makes me smile and that’s good enough for me.

When we were planning Alexandra’s funeral I read all the SANDs leaflets available. In the funeral leaflet it mentioned picking music that you might not expect to hear on the radio so you’re not suddenly sideswiped on some random Tuesday. To that end we picked pieces that reflected both of us but were highly unlikely to be heard on the radio. Andrew chose “Pavane pour une infante défunte” by Ravel and I chose “Smile” by Michael Jackson. Only for Gregory Porter to do a cover and it be all over the telly Xmas 2017! I am a huge Michael fan but his song “Gone too soon” written in dedication to Ryan White just wasn’t quite right. I’ve since heard the Ravel piece in a classical mix and I knew I knew the song and Andrew had to remind me what it was – felt like the world’s worst Mother then! But as I had been actively avoiding it; I stopped beating myself up over it.

I’m also a Queen Bey fan (told you I wasn’t cool) and I really wanted “I was here” but the lyrics weren’t quite right and we only had a specified time at the crematorium in which to get in, sit down, do the service and get everyone out again so we really didn’t have time for Queen Bey belting out an anthem.

Queen Bey has her detractors (don’t we all) but in the months after losing Alexandra I kept being drawn back to her song with Naughty Boy – the video shows people drowning/floating and that’s how I felt. It starts:

These four lonely walls have changed the way I feel
The way I feel
I’m standing still
And nothing else matters now, you’re not here
So where are you?

And ends:

If I lose myself, I lose it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all
If I lose myself, I lose it all

I’ve just seen the Queen film and the music was obviously fantastic and it reminded me of the song “Who wants to live forever.” As a 6th former I made a mix tape of Queen songs and would belt them out of my little Ford KA (see I’m not cool) and it’s these lyrics in the song that get me every time:

There’s no chance for us
It’s all decided for us
This world has only one
Sweet moment set aside for us

Recently Professor Green’s song “Photographs” has been doing the rounds on Instagram in the baby loss community because it is so relevant to our experience. My photos of Alexandra are the only ones we have and they are so precious. It was like another sucker punch to the soul when people flipped through them like they were boring holiday snaps not paying attention or worse handing them back because they were too painful for them to look at. Ok, yes you are looking at a dead baby but if you didn’t know; then you wouldn’t really know by how she looked. You know from the expressions of everyone around her. So if you are shown photos of Alexandra, look at them properly, look at her features, tell me she looks like me, say how beautiful she is and feel privileged that you’ve seen the evidence that she was here.

 

As we’re heading towards Xmas I’ll end with a song that hit me out of nowhere: how can a Xmas song make you so upset? When it starts with: so this Christmas and what have you done? Well in 2015 I felt I had failed; that my year had been wasted and given over to heartache. Losing Alexandra completely obliterated my achievement in growing her, meeting her and getting to know her over such a short period of time.

 

So what about you? What are the songs that speak to you?

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