In grief, we unwittingly tend to tip-toe around certain subjects, events, memories, people, places, and even artifacts that we are not fully prepared to face beyond the protected, sacred spaces of our broken hearts. I still have many such spaces tucked away and out of sight from even my own fragmented mind. It is not yet “safe” to expose them to the light.

One such “artifact” for me has been my beloved guitar. Many people talk of how healing music is, and how it can express what words cannot; I believe this to be true. However, the loss of my daughter has, until recently, left me quite numb to the extent that even that which was most natural and comforting before—my guitar—felt like the most mechanical and burdensome of objects to hold. There simply was no music left in me. My heart had bled dry.

Not only did it feel heavy to lift my guitar, but it tended to feel like I was scrubbing salt into a wound still fresh and raw. It did not comfort, nor did it bring any measure of peace or joy. My body would become tense as I tried to establish some sort of flow in the rhythm and melody; at best, it would result in a forced, lifeless sound. In vain, it mostly proved to be only a stark reminder of what was no more…

For my love of Josie, and to honor her life, I have tried again and again to pull myself together and unmute the melodies that are guarded within those hidden realms; I know she wants me to feel joy again, as I once did tenderly caressing those six vibrant strings! It has been a slow and painstaking process— progress that is nearly imperceptible to anyone but myself. Just when I think I have made a breakthrough, I find myself stashing my trusty guitar-friend back in his corner, only to be forgotten for another several weeks or sometimes even months.

Without a doubt, Heaven’s music is surely nothing like the noise we produce here on this earth! That, in part, has also hindered my desire to play. Since I frequently sense Josie near when I sit with my guitar, it always makes me keenly aware of how awful and dissonant my music must sound to her angelic ears! Perhaps this is foolishness, but it is how I feel, nonetheless. By concentrating on her love for me as I humbly and clumsily plod and pluck my way forward, I can feel her smiling— and that brings me great joy!!!

I have faced almost every other aspect of my “before” life—except my guitar. This is perhaps the last giant step for me to finally begin enjoying this ride I am attempting to ride. As the melody becomes clearer, so does the pain. Somehow, it sharpens the realization that my life is moving forward and beyond those blessed days when Josie was here in body. I must be brave!

This intensity of emotion eludes what any words could ever express… My prayer is that these six silver moonbeams will help carry me magically along, until I reach that most perfect of days that lies somewhere beyond the next sunset. Perhaps this old, wooden artifact has the power to uncover all the wounded spaces my heart conceals—exposing every last realm. Once in the light, I can begin to process the pain more fully as I allow the light to do what light does best!!!

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