Its no secret that I love music. I have loved it since I was little. All my memories come with a soundtrack, I wake up to a radio playing in my head and I’m a dance teacher (you kinda need music for that).
I inherited my love of music from my Dad. I can remember being about 4 or 5, on a rainy day doing jigsaws with my dad, with Neil Young playing in the back ground. I remember it clear as day, but I remember the music the most. My Dad introduced me to the music that I now love and live by. When I was about 14 my Dad brought home a Ben Lee CD, two weeks later that CD had a new home in my room. I stole his Nirvana CD, his John Butler CD, I copied his Santana CD, I can sing word for word the songs of Dire Straits because of the CD’s in his collection. He was my music library, such amazing stories and such endearing memories.
When my Dad died last November I ceased to exist. 7 months pregnant, trying to suppress the grief so that it wouldn’t choke me, I dug a massive hole inside me to hide the music. Music was a world where only Dad and I existed. It was ours, we would talk for hours about new stuff and old stuff, concerts and CDs. I taught him about Ipods and itunes, he would tell me what music to buy, I would call him every time I went to JB Hifi, he would call every time the Hottest 100 was on, music was ours.
But after he was gone it hurt to listen, it hurt to remember, it hurt too much. I was barely getting through each day, tears felt like knives, I couldn’t bare to be hugged any more and I wanted/needed to breathe for life I was growing. So I hid the music. I hid it, so that I could be, even if if was just a shell of who I was, who I wanted to be.
I don’t have specific tastes in music. I don’t have a favorite style or genre of music. I can’t play or read music and I don’t know anything about Bach or Mozart. I just get it, I get the stories behind the songs, I get the emotion, I get the love of it. Music makes moments, it shapes dreams and it builds people.
Choosing music for dads funeral was one of the hardest things to do. The funeral home told me I could only have 6 songs, and that was at a stretch. They told me I couldn’t choose sad songs, because they didn’t want people to leave hurting more. I was raw from hurt, reeling at the utter devastation littered in my life and forced to live with in boundaries that cut me deep. I burst into tears in the office. With no one but the funeral director, I broke down, I had no idea what to do, all I wanted was to make him proud. But how could I do that? How could I fit such love, such admiration, memories, pride and loss into 6 little songs.
On top of all this, I could barely stand to hear more than 10 seconds of each song. My heart would jump out of my chest and the thought of his favorite music. I didn’t want to remember him sitting on the verandah, beer in hand humming to Pink Floyd. A treasured memory, tainted. The feelings of guilt, heart ache and jealousy. Yes, those memories would make me envious of my mind, why could my mind go back there and I couldn’t? It wasn’t fair. Music made me want to hug him, tell him I loved him, and tell him to look after himself. It made me want to sit on that verandah with him, and ask him all the questions I didn’t get to. Music made me angry that he wasn’t going to meet his grand daughter, and that he would miss his sons wedding. I didn’t want to feel that way. I just wanted to feel love. I wanted to be surrounded by love. My love for my Dad.
So music stayed hidden.
The radio stayed off. The CD player gathered dust. The Ipod got hidden in a draw. It was easier. Music couldn’t hurt me this way.
Then Indi was born. Lost in a completely new form of love, I forgot about tickets I had brought for Dad and I. Nine days old and the poor little thing was taken to her first music concert. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. A complete mess of hormones, I sat through as much of that concert as I could bare. I fought off so many emotions, but I did it.
I decided that I didn’t want Indi to miss out on music because my heart was broken. So the Ipod dock got set up in her room. Set on random it played her to sleep in the early days. I would go in, unprepared only to be floored by the sounds of Bob Marley, one of Dads favorites.
Bit by bit music crept back into my life. Pop music in the car (channels would be changed if I couldn’t handle it) and the little Ipod was used in the building of person, the making of my Indi bum.
The dock eventually got moved into the kitchen. We play it every night when the three of us are making dinner (can’t say that Indi is very helpful in the kitchen yet). Dads music is on the Ipod.
I can now listen to certain songs the whole way through, I can handle some songs better than others, I can hurt for just that little bit longer now. Because its him. I make sure Indi knows that its ‘his’ music, I always tell her ‘Thats Poppy Pete’s Song Bubba’. Oh it hurts like a bitch, but its the only way I can feel him still here. I like to think he purposely puts ‘his’ songs on so I know he’s still hanging around, checking in on everyone, watching my little chickpea grow up. I want/need to believe that anyway.
I actually brought music the other day. That’s a pretty massive step. Oh dad would have hated pretty much all of it, but I would have made him listen to it, just to piss him off. He loved that.
I miss him every single day, and it hurts imagining how life would have been if he were here. So I am reuniting with music. So I can keep a little piece of him forever.
love you and miss you daddy xxx
much love peeps xxx