During hours spent outside, or awake at night, I’ve been listening to music. Trying to find music that fits. Ironically, in the early days of LB’s ‘diagnosis’, when he was a just a pup, Faure’s Requiem was the soundtrack to my sadness. This shifted substantially over time and I can no longer listen to it. It didn’t fit. I was wrong. So much was wrong. LB wasn’t. And we certainly weren’t mourning him. Then*.
The weather’s been so unusual it’s created an almost film-like backdrop to our devastation. Consistently baking sunshine transforming mundane suburbia into a different world. I remark on this remarkable summer constantly. To pretty much everyone I talk to. It’s important that the sun has shone so unusually since LB died. It’s a summer that will be remembered. And the sunshine theme, with the ‘do’ soundtrack of summer songs, the late evenings sitting outside, the sunflowers, both shop bought and planted in our tatty garden, has a positive feel to it.
So. Where am I at with the sounds? Anthony and the Johnsons were a stalwart companion for the first couple of weeks. Capturing the sadness exquisitely. But then they became a tiny bit annoying. And irrelevant. I listen to ‘Toast‘ by Tori Amos. Written in memory of her brother who died. And ‘Coral Room‘ by Kate Bush. About the loss of a mother. But ‘This Summer’ is creeping in as an unexpected frontrunner. A song I used to listen to on my commute home from Royal Holloway where I led five seminars every Friday on a contemporary social theory module. A regularly fraught experience of scrabbling to understand and make sense of the favourite theorists of the course leader (a white male-centric bunch) probably inches ahead of the students.
I’d sit on the train from Reading to Oxford, early evening, frazzled by the full on intensity of the day and the speed reading that built up to it. And I’d listen to this song. It was sad, calming and peaceful. A kind of vicarious insight into loss experienced by others. Always others.
Until a moment, a split second, one sunny early July morning, when I became ‘one of the broken hearted’. Without warning.
*Trying hard to celebrate, not ‘mourn’ LB now. Tough gig.