Opinion: How music holds us together, helps us through grief

Posted on: May 27, 2020

“If we’re going to survive this pandemic we need music, more than ever,” writes Chris Sikora in Thursday’s (5/21) New York Times. “The path through grief is mourning, and it’s music that can meet us on the path and help us keep walking. As a hospice chaplain and former intensive care unit and palliative care chaplain, I’ve been at the bedsides of the dying for many years, with music often holding the space when all else has failed…. Sometimes I sing, sometimes I listen…. Music can elevate moments and create sacred space, even amid brokenness and pain.… It’s a jazz band in New Orleans, dressed in their finest suits playing ‘I’ll Fly Away’ to acknowledge all those who can’t gather for proper funerals during the pandemic. It’s the spontaneous concerts that continue to happen in quarantine all over the world by a collective call to music to lift spirits…. If you play an instrument, get it out and play for your neighbors. Spin your old records…. But whatever you do, don’t wait.… Hearing is the last sense to go, so fill your moments with music as long as you can. The soundtrack of these times needs your chorus.”