Stories & Articles

#MusicTuesday: Vanessa de Largie on Staying Connected to her Late Parents Through Music

Photo of Vanessa de Largie

Vanessa de Largie | | February 24, 2015

Is it Tuesday again? This week has really flown by! Today, I’m happy to welcome Australian author and actress Vanessa de Largie to my blog. This is a poignant post that I think many readers will relate to. Thank you, Vanessa!

Music connects me to my parents. Their souls, their love – our memories.

Both my parents were dead by the time I was 27. I began to use music in a way that I hadn’t before. I was seeking solace, answers – I was seeking nourishment.

As humans we crave connection. We are driven to join the dots. My foundation had been ripped from under me and it was time to rebuild.

Most people reminisce through photographs. I reminisced through songs. Each song was a snapshot in time, a time machine – that carried me back to a memory.

Some songs were like bruises – they hurt when pressed. Other songs sparked a cause for celebration. A celebration of what once was.

All of my emotions were being played within the octave of grief. Music theory lessons never prepared me for this.

Sometimes I would turn on a sombre tune just so I could cry. I would howl into my pillow as the melody pierced my heart like broken glass. Music was the one thing that could contain my grief. It was also the one thing that could relieve it.

It was more helpful than therapy and it was a lot cheaper. It was cathartic to play songs that triggered memories. It was cathartic to be so beautifully aware of my own pain. I was facing grief head-on – I was shining a light on it and it had nowhere to bury itself and hide.

As the weeks rolled into months and the months rolled into years – my heart began to strengthen. Sometimes I would hear a song and be caught off guard. I would crumble into a heap and wonder if I’d made any progress with my grief at all.

But mostly, music after their deaths became a beacon.