Every Wednesday

Every Wednesday I will post something about grief. Sometimes it will be a reflection on an aspect of grief’s landscape. Now and then I will share from my own journey of grief, because in the sharing of our stories we find strength and build a community of people that support one another.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Writing a Requiem: Liturgizing Grief

Journal entry 7

Thoughts of writing a requiem for Evelyn resurface. I pushed them away earlier because I heard that the stress of composing a requiem after his father’s death is what some think did Mozart in, trying to express the depths of grief and comprehend why the loss was so devastating.

Yet a river of emotions is surging through me and the words exist now, at least until they get buried under my Midwest stoicism that says, “Life is hard on everyone. Get back to work!” Ev loved and sang Fauré’s Requiem a number of times, so I begin with that.

I pull a chair in front of the speakers so that I will be immersed in the music, and wait with paper and pen. The music starts slowly with majestic, ominous phrases offset by soft, pleading voices, moves into the lyrical kyrie, and builds to cries of anguish. Slowly words come and are written down as they empty my heart. 


  1. The music--always the music brings us back and winds through life and death.
    Your words bring comfort. I love Faure's Requiem which I hear only fragments of now in my head.

    1. Thank you, Jo. Every time I listen to Faure, he stirs the pot of emotions, but in a good way, I think. But music is such a mixed bag. Instrumental music has been the best because it encourages me to reflect on things. But some music with lyrics, especially favorite songs, still tears me up and brings back some of the chaos and despair that I thought I'd moved past. Music is powerful.