widower2

Music, movies or other such things that are relevant/helpful/etc

89 posts in this topic

I was going to put this in the "coping with loss" area as it's so general, but don't get the impression a lot of people browse that, so........

Music has always been a big part of my life and has helped me with this too - it can be something that picks me up, or sometimes music which is sad but that can help too, it a let it out kind of way. Happy to offer up ideas if anyone wants but be warned :) - most of the songs and possibly artists I have in mind you may not be familiar with and much is instrumental. For those looking for more mainstream things, maybe others can offer ideas?

Movies are another story. One thing I have yet to find is a movie in which the loss/grieving is main topic and most if not all the focus is on that - so stuff like "Steel Magnolias" doesn't really count because it deals with and is about a lot more (the friendships etc etc). ie not just movies which happen to have a loss as part of it, but ones where that IS the movie. And I haven't found one really good one where it's about losing your partner. Here are the few I've found and my impressions - will try not to give away much if anything and ask the same of anyone responding similarly. Or at least if you might be about to, pls warn us first (esp regarding the outcome). These are all on Netflix FYI.

Rabbit Hole (w/Nicole Kidman) - her child is killed in an accident and shows her and her husband dealing with it. Kinda. It's worth a watch I guess, but nothing great. They blew several great opportunities for emotional scenes and I was quite disgusted with how they painted grief support groups in an negative, inaccurate, even silly stereotyped way (that's Hollywood for you - has no clue about real life and real people, but pretends to).

Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing (w/Mary Steenburgen) - a man loses his wife - this one's a little quirkier but better and probably the best of those I've seen, but I wouldn't say "great."

The Boys Are Back - a man's wife dies of cancer but it's really about him moving on and taking care of their son. To be honest I got maybe 45 mins or so in and got annoyed with both the uneven handling of the topic and esp the dad being a really bad/clueless parent, to the point where I had to cut it off (so that would be a thumbs down :) ).

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Hi W2!

So what kind of music do you listen to? I have a collection of folk, blues and jazz. The entire collected works of Leo Kottke , John Fahey and others. Rare vinyl. My husband was also a guitarist and music was one of our interests together. Don't assume everybody has *mainstream* tastes. Not that there's anything wrong with that. So tell me about your collection...

Sincerely,

Mandala

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Hi mandala,

Well actually my intent wasn't to simply chat about music, but rather specific music that people felt was helpful to them in one way or other. And I'm not assuming anything about anyone in particular let alone "everyone," was a general comment. :)

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Music seems to be what trips my emotions very easily. My wife loved music and there are certain songs that will catch me off guard and I will start crying. Someone once told me that men don't cry. I sometimes wish I could control when I do but since she passed I cannot. Whenever it hits me I cannot control it. I try but I was never that way before she died. I cannot explain, I can tell you that most of my trips to the store are late at night so I don't have an outburst in front of people. Right or wrong, it happens and I cannot help it. Music is great evan though it makes me cry it is good memories that I have. I miss her and love her.

Mike

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Mike,

It took me years to be able to listen to our music again. Before that, it was just too painful. Crying just happens. It is neither right or wrong. I've never cried so much in my life as I have since he died. Over time, it becomes less acute.

Hang in there,

Mandala

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W2,

What music has been helpful to you? It took me a long time to reclaim our music. What I listen to depends on my mood. Lately, I've been going through eclectic selections. Today It's been a hodgepodge of Leadbelly, Bessie Smith and Miles Davis. Does any of this resonate with you? I'm open to suggestions.

Sincerely,

Mandala

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Someone once told me that men don't cry.

Hopefully that was around 1950. We've wised up a lot since on that. :) Honestly what a foolish thing to say, esp about something suffering from a loss. That macho BS should have all gone the way of coonskin caps by now.....

mandala, really it's diff for everyone, what works for one won't necessarily work for another. eg the stuff you mentioned doesn't appeal to me but it's quality stuff and that doesn't make it right or wrong - really it's hard to know what will "work" or help. eg often have had a lot of The Rippingtons (a so-called "smooth jazz" group) on random shuffle in the background as it's easy-gong and unobtrusive but not "sleepy" either. However I have found lately that stuff that's actually more sad or "wistful" has helped in that they help me just "let it out" - for ex. Shaun Colvin's "Fat City" album, generally...

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One of Mary's favorite songs was "I love rock and roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. In the air tonight Phill Collins. Fast car Tracy Chapman. There were so many. I listen to country to relax. She loved listening to Alan Jackson, Luke Bryan. " drunk on you".

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Gee W2, ya think? (LOL) *it's different for everyone, what works for one won't necessarily work for another.* You mentioned you were *happy to offer up ideas* so I asked. You never know where you'll find new things. I never expect that my collection of music would appeal to a whole lot of people. I'd be the last person to say any art is *right or wrong.* the only thing that matters is that you like it.

I did listen to Shaun Colvin on Amazon. I liked her. I do have new things among the more historical stuff. BTW, read any good books lately? For those who are able to concentrate. I couldn't for many years.

Sincerely,

Mandala

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Sure, understood, and thanks. I didn't think of asking about books - I thought there was a thread or 2 about those earlier as they tend to be thought of or discussed more, but don't see offhand. Definitely good books are a great idea to throw out. I have to say though I browsed through a number of them and partially read others and didn't come across any that did a lot for me - but fire away, maybe I missed a good one. :)

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Another excellent movie along those lines is called My Life Without Me. It stars Sarah Polley, as a young mother that finds she is dying of cancer and only has a short time to live. I won't spoil the story, but it is just excellent and so very true to life. Yes, music can really stir up the emotions. I walked around in total silence for what seemed forever after Jeff died. There were actually times I had to leave my shopping cart in a grocery store and almost run out if I heard a song that I associated with him. Eventually, it began to ease up. Today, there are still particular groups such as U2 or Coldplay that choke me up pretty badly.

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I have my share of music that sometimes helps in this or that way - either something that picks me up somewhat or even sometimes music which is sad but that can sort of help me let it out, if that makes any sense. Happy to offer up ideas if anyone wants but be warned most of the songs and possibly the artists you may not be familiar with and much is instrumental. For those looking for more mainstream things, maybe others can offer ideas?

I come from a musical family and my brother was a musician, so I feel obligated to reply to this topic.

W2, I like that you acknowledged that music can be useful to both make you feel better and help you "let out" the sadness. I enjoy instrumental music as well and throughout life, Andres Segovia (classical Spanish guitar) has been one artist whose music Ive turned to during rough times. Poor Segovia- I dont mean to imply that his music is all "sad," but there is something about his style, in many of his sonatas and concertos anyway, that can allow for tht release of emotions and yet remain calming. Segovia is a general recommendation, I don't have any particular pieces to recommend. It is all fantastic. Another general recommendation would be Simon & Garfunkel, more in the "folky" category, a lot of there stuff is more mainstream but much of it is still not. Sad and happy music there too of course, and personally I find Paul Simon a gifted lyricist who is very expressive.

Speific recommendations...backtracking several hundred years, Chopin's Etudes (check out n.3 opus 10), Chopin's Nocturne in E flat maj, Mozart's Concerto in A major for clarinet, Bach's "Bist du bei mir" though most of Bach's stuff is too dark for me. Some of the melodies of those compositions are recognizable. More modern- "Heaven" by Jimmy Scott (jazz artist, has some good stuff)-- not preachy. Overall these pieces may seem more down, but I think they can be interpreted any way based on how you are feeling, as can a lot of music.

More explicitly upbeat stuff... Myslivecek's Quartet in E flat maj, "The Canticle of the Sun," Simon & Garfunkels "Feelin' Groovy", John Mayer's "The Heart of Life" (thank my daughter for this one), "Better" by Regina Spektor (and this one) and if all else fails....Bing Crosby doing "Accent-chuate the Positive". B)

I dont have any book ideas, and I am totally behind the times when it comes to movies, so no ideas on that front either. But music, I can do!

Joe

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Thx Joe, all, I'll have to check some of these out.

Sting's "Fields of Gold" just popped up and though not a particular fav of mine or hers per se, the "wistfulness" of it (for lack of a better term) just got to me. The visuals it gave me also made it hard. Funny how that is.

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A friend just sent me this song . . . I cannot even begin to explain how powerful it hit my heart. It speaks exactly where I am right now. I hope you will also be touched by it.

I wish for all of us, peace.

Renee

drinwi

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Not working for me - can you tell us the artist/song?

PS I found an album that has some really nice tunes on it, don't know if y'all are interested - simple love songs, sort of a summer cafe feel to it and a "blast from the past" guy - Christopher Cross. The album is called "The Cafe Carlyle Sessions" - very stripped down, no backing vocals, just a guitar, maybe piano etc - plays some of his hits and some not. I found it - I don't know, "soothing" I guess, easy on the ears. FWIW

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I don't know whether what I'm reading will be relevant or helpful, and I hope I'm not alone. I've been reading crime fiction lately. The effects of this genre seem to be paradoxical - it can provide comfort and escape. I found the best definition of hell from Jim Thompson. "Sure there's a hell..."It is the drab desert where the sun sheds neither warmth nor light and Habit force-feeds senile Desire. It is the place where mortal Want dwells with immortal Necessity, and the night becomes hideous with the groans of one and the ecstatic shrieks of the other. Yes, there is a hell...and you do not have to dig for it." I always like to know where I am at times, and I couldn't have said it better.

Other things offer pure escapism. Right now I am watching Season IV of Sons of Anarchy and reruns of The Tudors. Another movie came on TV last night "PI" which is part of my collection. It ranks among the ten weirdest movies I have ever seen. I like things that push the limit. Of course, interspersed with all of this weirdness, are well-done new movies. As Dave Von Ronk said "there is no problem so big, you can't run away from it." Well, at least temporarily. After having said this, I hope nobody is depressed.

Reporting from the pits,

Mandala

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Thx mandala, will keep those in mind..."escapism" can definitely be a welcome relief from what we are all dealing with, even if only temporarily, to give our mind and heart a desperately-needed break. This is true in ordinary life but so much more so now...and the main appeal of such stuff I think....

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Um, W2,

"...and the main appeal of such stuff I think....

Ha! You think what? That I hang out on the edge? I'm totally nutz? You're not far from wrong. But, hey, whatever works.

Sincerely,

Mandala

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Not sure I follow, but......OK. :)

Curious: do y'all tend to lean towards music that's uplifting and helps you beat back the pain, or prefer to indulge in music that helps you "let it out" - ? Or is it a pretty even mix?

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I tend to listen to the music that breaks my heart and makes me cry...I haven't been into any movies lately, although I did like PS I Love You, before all of this and the last movie I seen was The Odd Life Of Timothy Green with my daughter and it was pretty good. I like to listen to the music when I am alone and driving so that way no one notices...

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W2,

It depends on how you define *uplifting*. Personally, I go with my feelings. Since I listen to such a combination of music, it probably works out...gee, I don't know.

Mandala

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Sorry mandala I don't have a pat definition - it seems to me that's one of those words that we know what it means (at least to us) but hard to really write down a specific meaning of - know what I mean?

Anyway -

Am listening to Norah Jones' "Come away with me" album - it's oddly sad yet comforting. Not comforting BECAUSE it's sad in a let-it-out way either...hard to explain. Just easy on the ears I guess, very relaxing, easy on the nerves too. I find myself in a mood of wanting very scaled-down, low-key music lately.

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W2,

I didn't know you were royalty (LOL) *we* know what it means (at least to *us*). Henry VIII couldn't have said it better. Majesty, you could try looking it up. However, if you say the same word to ten different people, odds are you'll get ten different answers. Try the word *confrontation* and see what happens, It's the nature of psychology and language. People assign their own meaning to words, depending on personal history and experience. That's why I asked about defining *uplifting.*

As for *uplifting* and *letting it out*,what about all the other emotional states? How about savage amusement? Historical content? And so on...

I have a confession to make. When you mentioned the word *even* I am grateful I didn't say it in my real life. My husband was an engineer, the cousin I live with is a retired engineer. The other day I said the word *perfect* and my cousin pulled me up on it. The same thing would happen with my husband. I have a tendency toward hyperbole, and I have worked hard on correcting it. It's like being in the same discussion with the same engineering archetype my entire life. I know you work with computers, so you brought a ray of sunshine into my life when you said *even.* I wanted to tell my cousin, but this is a private matter.

I've been down with a sinus infection for the past three days. I hope you are doing better. You always have a way of creating the liveliest discussions.

Sincerely,

Paula

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Sorry but you lost me on the "royalty" etc comments. You might have misunderstood-? I meant "we" as in any given person FYI. I think we're in agreement :)

Glad I brought a little sunshine into your life and thanks for the kind words, and for keeping the discussions going........hope you feel better soon!<br class="Apple-interchange-newline">

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Oh, W2,

You used *we* instead of I. We is usually used by Kings, Pope's, Heads of State, etc. I read that even Elizabeth II hardly uses it in her formal speeches anymore.. I don't want to sound like the English teacher from hell, but check Fowler's Modern English Usage, or look on the net. You can't speak for a group.

How are you doing? I feel well enough to shop and cook today. It's such a beautiful day. How is the weather wherever you are?

Until Next Time,

Mandala

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