Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I read somewhere that the mother of Eric Clapton's son, who died at the age of two, has never heard the song "Tears in Heaven" - the song that Clapton wrote for his son.  She cannot listen to it.  She doesn't want to hear it.  I wonder what would happen if the song just came on someplace she was - like the car - she wouldn't recognize it right away, because she's never heard it.  So, how could she be quick enough to change the channel?  What if she's in a restaurant or a shopping mall?  It's a song that seems to come up a lot in the regular rotation of life.  I actually find myself worried for her that it will sneak up on her...that before she even knows its happening, she'll be listening to that song.  Maybe she is very careful to never listen to the radio or go places where that song could possibly end up playing.  As a warning - I suggest she should stay away from Burbank Airport.  I heard that song in their rotation while Ted and I waited for the plane that took us to NYC for Beth's marathon shortly after Maxie's passing.  It was torturous for me - I can only imagine the pain it would cause her.

Music has a power to pull you out of whatever you are doing and put you into a place you once were.  It can bring back all sorts of other sensations as well.  Whenever I need to calm way down, I listen to a Spanish album that I first heard in Argentina (Chambao - Endorfinas en la mente) - it brings me back to a very calm and easy time in my life.  When I was pregnant with Mo, I basically kept the old school rap and hip hop station on in my car all of the time - it brought me back to my high school and college years - so many fun memories.  I knew all of the words to everything then and being able to sing (say?) the words along with the radio while driving to and from doctors appointments kept my mind busy.  It helped me to NOT think about everything that could go wrong.

I have a pile of CDs in Mo's room that are the "Do not play" CDs.  They include - The Land of Nod (volume 2 I think); Jack Johnson's music from Curious George; a bunch of Raffi and some other stuff.  I know better than to listen to Pandora's children's music station - I might end up hearing a song from one of the "Do not play CDs", or worse yet: that Hawaiian version of "Somewhere over the rainbow"....or the WORST possible: "The Rainbow Connection" sung by Kermit the Frog or anyone else for that matter.  That song tears the insides out of my body, rips them to shreds, throws them on the floor and then stomps all over them.  That song taunts me, saying "You think you are surviving but you are BARELY holding on!  You KNOW you can't live without Max!".  I love that song madly but I cannot handle it.

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a friend's house and the song came on.  I panicked.  Honestly, my mind started racing at 5,000,000 miles per hour.  I didn't know what to do.  I could either sit there and pretend like I didn't hear it but I am pretty sure I would have ended up in a full blown panic attack - and I didn't think that was a good idea considering Mo was on my lap and we were flanked by small children.  I wanted to run outside, but didn't want to make a scene.  I could not hear one more note - I was already being transported back - to dancing with my sweet boy in our living room and then later, to laying in his hospital bed with him while he was hooked up to life support, while Ted played the song over and over again, hoping that the music would bring him back to us. I can't believe that the song didn't bring Max back to us.  I am not sure why it surprises me - nothing worked:  not the song, or the prayers or the promises to god.  It's like living full time in a nightmare.  It's a life sentence for a crime I don't remember committing, that I SURE AS HELL know my child didn't commit.  Five seconds of the song brought up so much pain for me that I barely got through the rest of the day.  I was back in the early days of grief - the really disgusting, dark, awful, shitty mess that it was.

I need to put a plan in place - for times like those.  Like "The Silver Linings Playbook" - did you see it?  He needed a plan in place for whenever he might hear "Ma Cherie Amour" out in public.  Holy moly - I can relate to that.  I need plans for music, and certain smells, and things people say, and when people make that effing sound like they are playing with a cute puppy (aaaawwwwww) when we talk about our broken hearts, and a whole host of other shit that keeps popping up.  On the day I heard the Rainbow Connection, I just walked outside with Mo.  I snuggled him close to my heart and I swayed back and forth with him, the way I wish I could have been doing with Maxie in that moment.  I kissed his cheeks and looked into his deep blue eyes and tried to connect to his brother for a minute.  I am battling some pretty heavy demons and I actually think I am doing an ok job, considering....


Em said...

And the word that captures it all, considering. I actually wrote a post about that word some time back. Doing okay, considering. Managing, considering. Considering, considering our precious child died. So much revolves around that word, considering.

Tiffany said...

i can relate. i can't listen to quite a few songs because they make me spiral downward. music has such a powerful impact. after Julius passed away, if i listened to anything, it was dance music. there weren't any triggers there. i hate that we have to live like this. and yes, i've had those moments where a song comes on and i panic. i was in michael's (the craft store) and the song "one sweet day" from mariah carey came on. well i flipped my shit. i stuck my fingers in my ears, and kept saying "la la la la" to block out the music. eventually D pulled out my ipod and turned on some music so that i could have something else to drown out the song.

Sarah P. said...


Hannah said...

So sad. I wonder about Eric Clapton's former wife - I think I read that she had heard the song (on the radio, possibly) but didn't like to sit and listen to it.

When my little sister died, my mum found two songs hard to listen to "Time After Time" (Cyndi Lauper) and anything from Joseph's Technicolour Dream Coat as those were my sister's favourites. xxx

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