Music has a way of speaking the words we can not say, of expressing the emotions we can not or will not express, of comforting or motivating or transforming us in ways that are profound. Music is a critical piece of grief and loss. There are times when music can be the glue to help two people who are experiencing or expressing grief in different ways to come to a place of togetherness. This tie, this bridge, can be powerful enough to hold these people together in their darkest time. The music that is chosen for memorial services or celebrations of life reflect the life lived and lost and often the inner feelings of the grievers themselves. Many people have told me that the time when they did the “hardest” grieving, the real throw into the darker emotions that one must work through to get to the other side, was while listening to music – often alone in the car (if this happens for you, please pull over until it is safe for you to continue driving). So we know that music is a strong force that finds something within us that is so powerful, how do we utilize music to assist in the grieving journey? One way is to make a playlist of music that inspires memory of the person who is gone – songs that conjure strong emotions, but interspersed with songs that arouse beautiful memories. Another way is to free flow the words that come to you directly from your emotion and put them on paper or record yourself saying them. Then these words can be transformed into lyrics through the addition of rhythm, melody, and/or instrumentation. Now some of you may say, I can’t write music, I can’t play music, there is just no talent there. Well to all of you, I say that is simply not true. Take a young child and give them a stick and a metal pan, they will without a doubt create a drum. Give the same child a cardboard tube filled with rice and that tube will become the liveliest of maracas with dancing likely to follow suit. Music is born in us. We are all capable of loving it just as we are all capable of producing it. The fears of what others may think are usually what hold us back. The good news about that is that this can be all for you, you never have to share this music with anyone else if that is what you desire. But the world has something to gain by being privileged to join in the music of sorrow and the music of memory. So find music out there in the world that speaks to you and soak it up, allow it to take you on a journey. And if the inclination is there to release some of yourself into a song, allow yourself to be infected and free make music the key.