Friday, October 17, 2008

How Can I Keep From Singing?

The pain of this bereft heart of mine has reached a terrible place. I've been trying to sing again. I promised Caitlin I would. Singing would heal us and keep our connection tangible by connecting my earthly world to her heavenly one. But, I find the experience of singing again to be like swallowing rocks.

In choir tonight we sang beautiful arrangements of lullabies for Christmas. I choked. Then a baby cried and I became frozen. The rest of the rehearsal was for me to remember the night my baby cried, horribly. The night I knew that she was in pain. The fear that engulfed me wasn't even recognizable, because, well, I always thought in the end it would be OK. She would live. She didn't and the last I saw her conscious she was crying and in pain. Then I sang to her until she passed in my arms. That night and into the next day, I would sing her to heaven and I begged her to be there to sing to me when it was my time. But, tonight, I think, I can't continue. And I didn't, I left rehearsal at the break.

I sang myself home with one of the hymns I used to sing to her in the hospital--the one our friends and family sang at her funeral. Sorry I can only include the lyrics, it's not really a song without the melody to carry the meaning so your heart can understand, but here are the words, lifeless, all the same.

My life goes on in endless song
Above earth's lamentation
I hear the real, the far off hymn
That hails a new creation
Through all life's tumult, pain, and strife
I hear my music ringing
It sounds an echo in my soul
How can I keep from singing

What though the tempest around me roars
I know the truth it liveth
What though the darkness round me close
Songs in the night it bringeth
No one can shake my in most calm
When to this rock I'm clinging
For Love is lord 'or heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing


  1. I am deeply touched by this song and your painful determination to coninue singing. I have felt something very similar while playing with, holding, caring for the children in my preschool class. Teaching is my version of singing, and I made a similar promise to my son, Sage, that I would not close my heart in pain. Sometimes when I sing to the babies in my class, it feels like swallowing rocks, and yet sometimes it feels healing, too. What a journey.

  2. I love this post. That has always been a very powerful song for me, and I thank you for reminding me of it.
    You will be with your sweet Caitlin again! I can't wait to be with my little Benjamin. That will be such a wonderful day!