I pretty much hate being a bereaved mother with every curse word out there and every fiber of my being. It sucks. It is hard and awful and I am so tired of crying all. the. time. And just when I think I’m starting to function like a human being again, grief comes in and starts to gnaw at me all over again until I’m back to where I started. It is not helping that the one year anniversary of Covey’s death is quickly approaching.
But I’m not going to write anymore about that today. I was with some friends this week and we were laughing about those t-shirts that say “Not today Satan” because well, I just think it’s kind of hilarious to have that written across your chest… But it got me thinking. I want to write about the good. I have to seriously search for it right now because I have been feeling so raw lately.
Not today Satan! Not today grief!
So instead, I’m going to share some of the times I have felt my son communicating with me from beyond the grave. Maybe it’ll bring some hope and encouragement to someone else out there too.
Like Job, I’ve also asked the question, “If a man die, shall he live again?”, and I have wondered about that a lot more seriously over the course of the last year. I’ve felt fear and worry about whether death really is the end because never before have I needed to know like I do now. But then I’ve also experienced small and simple miracles that have bolstered my faith.
One very simple way I’ve found a connection to Covey is through music. It may not seem miraculous or maybe it would appear coincidental, but I don’t believe that, and I don’t believe these experiences are unique to me. It doesn’t happen often, but I want to share a few specific times when I’ve had a song come to me when I really needed it.
The first time, very soon after Covey died, I was sitting in the car with my kids waiting at a job estimate my husband was doing, with my heart heavy and sad thinking of Covey, when all of a sudden a song came on the radio that I had never heard. Well, it was a very loved familiar song, but a remix. It was John Denver’s “Country Roads” but that new version, the single “Forever Country”.
A couple things made this so special to me. First, “Country Roads” was one of Covey’s favorite songs and it will always make me think of him! Second, I rarely listen to the country music station and yet I happened to be listening at that moment and heard that song. And to top it off, they rarely ever play “Country Roads”. But what are the odds a remix had just been made of it and would be playing on the radio? Plus the words of the remix just jumped out at me like Covey was saying it to me himself:
If I should stay
I would only be in your way
So I’ll go, but I know
I’ll think of you every step of the way
Oh, I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you’ve dreamed of
I wish you joy and happiness
But above all this, I wish you love
I have listened to that song over and over since then, and I have felt so close to him through it. I didn’t want him to go in any sense but I’ve thought about how it is my greatest hope that he has all those things too. That song has made me ugly cry many times.
The second song that showed up just when I needed it was “Think of Me” from Phantom of the Opera. The really interesting thing about this one is I didn’t even know the song except for the words and notes of its first line. I had watched the movie version of Phantom of the Opera a couple times many years ago but that’s my only connection to it. But several months after we lost Covey, those notes and words just kept popping into my head over and over again, on another particularly hard day. So I went and looked up the lyrics. These ones jumped out at me:
Think of me, think of me fondly
When we’ve said goodbye
Remember me, once in a while
Please, promise me you’ll try
When you find that once again you long
To take your heart back and be free
If you ever find a moment
Spare a thought for me
Think of all the things
We’ve shared and seen. Don’t think about the way,
Things might have been.
This song has brought me so much peace. It is a beautiful song and I absolutely love it. I’ve been learning to play it on the piano and sometimes I sing it (in my *definitely not professional* opera voice) and it just warms my soul. It makes me feel close to Covey when I hear it. I hope we can both find joy thinking of each other, while not focusing on what could’ve been.
The last song is so random and just came to me this last week. I’d been feeling very sad and had even shared a short blurb on FB about how I was feeling down. Not even an hour afterwards while I was making dinner, out of the complete blue I started humming to myself the tune to Mr. Rogers’ song “It’s Such a Good Feeling”. And I knew that song was meant for me because there was no reason whatsoever why I’d be thinking of it, since I haven’t watched that show since childhood and it wasn’t playing in the background anywhere. In fact, I didn’t even remember the words, so I looked that one up too:
It’s such a good feeling
To know you’re alive.
It’s such a happy feeling;
You’re growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say:
I think I’ll make a snappy new day.
It’s such a good feeling,
A very good feeling.
The feeling you know, that I’ll be back
When the day is new.
And I’ll have more ideas for you.
And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about.
I will too.
Again, I felt Covey reaching out to me through those words, to encourage me, to comfort me. To think about a grown woman singing the words to “It’s Such a Good Feeling” while crying makes me laugh now but that’s just what I was doing! I know Covey and I will both have many things to talk about when we are finally reunited and in the meantime I will feel good if I try to make each day “snappy” like Mr. Rogers suggests. Isn’t it amazing how words and songs can mean so many different things at different times of our lives?
I believe Covey’s there, even if I can’t see or hear him anymore. I don’t think he’s by my side every second of the day but, he is still just as much my son now as he was then and can still be a part of my life. Plus he can see the bigger picture now better than I can. I really believe he’s reached out to me and wants me to be okay, and he’s cheering me on, trying to help me keep going. I believe our deceased loved ones want to do this for us, and they will if we just try and listen.