Last night I sang at a memorial service for the MISS Foundation, an organization that provides support for people that have lost a child. It was my third year, but every time, I feel the deep pain and grief of lives lost at such a deep level.
When my BFF first asked me to sing at the event in December of 2008, I refused. I resisted it like the plague. I have a seven year old daughter, and lost her twin early in the pregnancy. That was painful, but I still couldn't imagine and REFUSED to consider or experience the grief of a mother that held a stillborn child in her arms, or lost a child to illness or more horrifying yet, murder. I just wanted to RUN.
But she said she already TOLD them The JaJa's (that's us - pronounced YaYa's), would volunteer to sing at the memorial service. So, very begrudgingly, I caved in and said yes. After all she told them we would. But I felt sort of "tricked" into it. I would not have consciously chosen to do this on my own.
We picked 3 songs, two months before the service, and practiced and prepared so we could "sing through" the tears on December 12. But what happened the morning of the 12th, I was not prepared for.
I woke up, the morning of the memorial service, with the line of a song in my head. "If I could, I would tell you that I love you".
I start bawling my eyes out, jump out of bed, run down the stairs, straight to my husband and cried, "I am NOT writing this song! I CAN'T! There is no way I could sing it tonite even if I wanted to!"
I run back up the stairs, and proceed to get ready for church. But the lines keep coming. Relentlessy. And the tears. And after ruining my makeup twice, I finally say, "Ok God, I will write the song for our little angels. Just let me get through church."
Then, blissful silence. Peace.
I go to church and sing. Afterwards, the message and music of the service still ringing in my head, I unlock my car, get in, shut the door, and start my car... then WHAM. The lines of the song started coming again.
When I got home, face streaked with tears and mascara, I walk in and tell my husband, "I have to go finish the song." He nodded.
So I did. I finished the song. Very clearly, a message from all the little angels that passed, for their parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, family and friends. And sang it that night, as they intended it.
Allowing myself to be immersed in that grief, ironically, has been one of the most beautiful lessons of my life. The experience is both horrible and beautiful. Horrible, when I think about the child, the pain and loss. But beautiful when I allow myself to see and experience the incredible connection we all have when we dare to share our memories and our grief and most of all, our love.
A quote I read this morning on VALERIMAHA's site reached out to me this morning that soothes my soul in the wake of last night's memorial service:
"...have patience with everything unresolved in my heart, and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language, not searching for the answers, which could not be given to me now because I would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now." (Rainer Maria Rilke)
I dare you to share someone's grief today. Click here to hear the song Live for Me: