by Charlotte Moyler
Music has various effects on my soul. Since my daughter died, I find some songs unbearable to listen to. Several songs bring emotions that I feel ill prepared to experience.
You’re Beautiful by James Blunt came on my car radio as I was driving this morning. When I recognized the tune, I almost changed the channel. It was popular when Maggie was in high school and she loved to mimic Blunt’s unusual voice.
She would belt it out, right out of nowhere and have whomever was around, laughing.
Maggie did that very well, made us laugh
As I reached to change the radio station, a soothing thought told me to listen and to listen with new ears. Not sorrowful ears. Listen and embrace the joy Maggie brought when she sang it. She and her brother Jake would sing it together and the memory of that was challenging, but now joyful.
As I listened to the song, I felt my spirits soar and sky appeared even bluer. I turned it up and started singing aloud. I laughed and could easily visualize precious Maggie hamming it up with her little feet moving so quickly and her body swaging in perfect rhythm to the music.
Realizing that active healing was taking place, I thought, “I may even be able to listen to Billie Jean by Michael Jackson.” Besides from being hysterically funny, Maggie had unbeatable rhythm. She loved to dance, especially to Michael Jackson.
As only God would have it, the very next song to be played on my car radio was Billie Jean. Images flooded back of my spirited daughter and I let them engulf me. I allowed myself to feel more intensely.
I have found that I no longer dread experiencing memories I had adapted to fearing.
Sidenote: Maggie died by suicide in September 2011
Maggie was only 17. After these thoughts of writing this little piece came to me and I checked out the YouTube video of James Blunt’s song You’re Beautiful. At the end of the music video, he gives the impression of taking his life.
This was a cruel blow to me, as I had always viewed it as a simpler and silly song, but I did not let it stop me from writing. I do wonder if Maggie had watched that video and if any tiny seeds may have been planted.