When The Music Stops: The Loss of a Loved One

Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane {The Colourful Writer}

So how do you cope when someone you love, admire and respect passes away unexpectedly? 

What if you don’t actually know them? On a personal level I mean. In fact, you’ve actually never met them before. But you’ve always felt a connection to them in some way, shape or form. 

How do you react when others laugh at you or shake their head at you in confusion and disbelief as you cry and mourn for the one who has passed? 

So let’s put this all into perspective… Music. Music heals. Music feels. Music listens. Music releases. Music is a form of magic. Music, to some, is everything. Making music. Listening to music. Watching music performed live. Supporting music. Photographing live music. Writing about music. Even humming to yourself or singing in the shower. Listening to the birds in the trees. The waves on the ocean. Music and sound is all around us. Even those who can’t hear it, can still feel the vibrations. 

To me, it seems only natural that one could become so easily attached and connected to a musician even if you’ve not met them in person. A part of you knows a part of them. The part of themselves that they turn into music and share with the world. The part of themselves that they choose to express and turn into sounds and lyrics. The part of them that speaks to you when you need it most. That connection is very real. That connection is something special. That connection does not require an actual meeting in person. That connection goes far deeper. It’s a spiritual, soul level connection. 

The recent passing of Taylor Hawkins has left me stunned. In shock. Heartbroken. Not only for Taylor himself and his beautiful wife and daughters. Not only for his family and friends. Not only for his band mates. Not only for Dave, who has lost yet another best mate (this breaks my heart beyond compare) But also for his fans and followers. Those who really connected with Taylor. Those who needed his music on some days as much as they needed the air that they breathe. 

Creative souls; musicians, artists, actors, performers, creators, people who gift the world their art form in its chosen stance. They are some of the most giving souls around. They give something that is a big part of them. That gift gives to individuals on so many different levels. It can be a light hearted appreciation or it can be much deeper. Perhaps a particular song helped you when you wanted to end your life? Perhaps those lyrics made you stop and think and understand that life is in fact, worth living. Perhaps that tune that came into your head out of nowhere on that day where you felt like all was helpless, was the one thing that made you smile. Perhaps teaching your son to play guitar like your father taught you was a way to stay connected with your family, past and present. Perhaps the song that plays in the morning on your alarm to wake you is the only thing that really makes you want to get up in the mornings. And perhaps that old time tune that your grandmother listened to and danced around the kitchen with you as you baked cookies together is the only memory you have left of her. 

There is no doubt in my mind that music is something of magical forces and those who create it and share it are here to help us all.

Over the years of my existence earth side in this particular human form, music has been and will always be a constant for me. Something that has been there for me through good times and bad. Something that has most definitely saved my life and something that has helped me in the darkest of hours. A particular song can take me back to a particular time in my life, I can close my eyes and be right there. Some bands and musicians have impacted me more heavily than others. Sometimes their music is the main focus, sometimes their sense of style, fashion or attitude has been inspiring to me. Sometimes all of the above. Creative souls sing to me on so many levels. For I am one too, in my own way. As are we all. When you think about it. 

The music world has lost many beautiful souls far too soon. Far too young. Far too sadly. 

For me some of the biggest hurts include, Taylor Hawkins, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Chris Cornell, Shannon Hoon, Andrew Wood, Chester Bennington, Keith Flint and sadly, many more. It hurts. Just like it would if it was someone you knew in person. It hits your heart and your head and your soul and it makes you stop for a moment and reflect. Reflect and appreciate them and their music. That perhaps you even once took for granted. 

Life is one huge lesson to learn. Music teaches a lot of it, if you really listen. 

Life should be cherished on every level. Music should be appreciated and cherished and those who create it should not be taken for granted, but rather, celebrated for all that they are and all that they give. 

The music makers are the magic makers. They might not save lives in the way that a surgeon or paramedic does, but they do it in another way. With the sweet music they gift us all. 

This article was inspired by the passing of a man who has been with me through a large part of my life. This article was inspired by the passing of a member of a band whom I adore. This article was needed for me to release some of the pain, shock, disbelief and sadness. I hope that even perhaps in a small way, it helps you too.

Thank you for the music Taylor Hawkins. May you be at peace now. May your family and loved ones feel the love I send to them all now and always. 

And to Dave Grohl. You are one of the world’s most wonderful musicians. My heart goes out to you right now as I know the loss of your best friend, band mate and soulmate would be hurting so deeply right now. I send you my love. I hope you feel the love and support from all those who love you and connect with you not only from people you know in person, but for those you connect with through your music.

To all of the Foo Fighters. I send you my love. I hope you keep fighting the Foo when the time is right to do so again. We love you. 

For those reading this article, I hope you are okay too.

Please enjoy one of my many favourite live performances that not only highlights Taylor‘s talent but also his and Dave’s connection and friendship. For me, watching clips like this and listening to Taylor’s music and performances will keep his beautiful spirit and talent in my heart forever.

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