Music has been such a huge part of both our lives so it would only make sense that its played a big part in the pregnancy, the labor and now the grieving process. Chris and I got together because of love for the same band. The foundation of our relationship was based on traveling city to city to see Phish and dance and gather with friends from around the world who shared in the same love for music and all its powers.  We even had some of our favorite music help us to walk down the aisle before and after we became husband and wife. We spent 4 years in San Francisco and saw more live music then you can count on all our fingers and toes put together. We always have the ipod on, playing our favorites while we’re hanging out at home. While pregnant, we saw a bunch of different shows throughout the summer, of many various musical backgrounds- among them were Liz Phair, Ween, Wilco and Radiohead.  We were so excited to see what musical tastes our little one would soon develop.

We created a birthing mix throughout the last few weeks of the pregnancy. On our various car rides, we’d go through the ipod and choose song after song that we knew would be perfect for this mix, our favorites from Bob Marley, Wilco, The Beatles, Paul Simon and even Bon Jovi. I’ll never forget the moment during the labor when one of our midwives said that right now two of her favorite things were happening- listening to the Grateful Dead and delivering a baby. She said most of the time the music during the birth was Enya or some other new-agey stuff. Our mix played over and over again throughout those 18 hours. I don’t really remember specific songs coming on during the labor, I was so focused on my breathing and the pain I was in. I do remember though being in the tub and certain songs coming on and everyone hoping that Silas would be born to this one, or maybe that one, or maybe that first one again when the mix came back around.

We went to a show 3 weeks after Silas died. It was Trey Anastasio who was/is the lead singer for Phish. He was playing at a venue so close to our home and friends gave us tickets, so really, how could we not go? We hadn’t considered going originally because we were supposed to have a 3 week old baby. But now we didn’t and maybe the music could fill this incredible void and be healing and powerful and distract us from all this pain. It felt weird to be in public, to be in a place that usually brought me so much joy, when I was feeling so bad. We were surrounded by incredible friends, yet I still felt this overwhelming feeling of lonliness. As soon as the music started, I burst into tears and didn’t stop until the show was over. Chris and I sat alone in the back rows of the theatre and just cried and listened. I wanted to leave so badly but we couldn’t, our friends drove us there. I was forced to stay and just let the music take me wherever it was going to take me. It was so difficult but I don’t regret it. I think it helped me in some ways. We are going to make another attempt at live music in another month or so and see David Byrne. I think its important that we keep trying to let the music help us to heal.

This past week I drove to and from my parent’s house in NJ, the longest drive I have done so far since Silas’s birth. Actually pretty much the only drive I have done. It hadn’t crossed anyone’s minds that maybe this drive would be hard for me. That having to spend 2+ hours in the car alone would give me way too much time to think or that maybe I wouldn’t be capable of focusing on all that is necessary to get one’s self from point A to point B by car. The only way i’d get through this was with music and not NPR which is what I usually listen to while driving.  For the drive there, I chose full albums. That’s Chris’s favorite way of listening to music. Mine is to put the ipod on the big shuffle – and let all 9000 songs be up for grabs at any moment.  I chose to listen to the new album of Tom Waits covers by Scarlett Johanson. A friend who works for Warner sent me a nice package of cds & box sets of all kinds of music. I was so curious about her cd so I thought this would be a great place for her to make her debut. I loved it. It was ethereal, spacey, and perfect for this car ride. Then I chose Graceland by Paul Simon. Every Sunday, Chris and I would drive up to Coventry, CT to sell coffee at the biggest farmer’s market in CT.  On the hour drive up we would either listen to a new episode of This American Life or Graceland. Boy in the Bubble was on our baby mix and though it makes me cry listening to it now, I still want to hear it, I somehow need to hear it. Luckily I didn’t form an attachment to the songs on the baby mix with what happened. I will always associate this album as the soundtrack to the summer I was pregnant with Silas. I think that when I listen to it, it brings me closer to him and how I felt with him inside me. I will never know him as a person after the birth, but just who he was while he was inside of me. All of the music we listened to endlessly throughout that time will play a huge part in bringing Silas closer to me. As each day passes, I somehow feel further and further from him. I think I’m using the music to help me to remember all that I know of him. It’s true that songs can bring you back to certain moments of your life, thats why they are so powerful. I need the music to keep me connected to my beautiful baby.

These are the days of miracle and wonder,
This is the long distance call,
The way the camera follows us in slo-mo
The way we look to us all,
The way we look to a distant constellation
That’s dying in a corner of the sky,
These are the days of miracle and wonder
And don’t cry baby don’t cry
Don’t cry

“The Boy in the Bubble”   By Paul Simon

Advertisements