I am not a country girl. You will not find me with a cowboy hat on my head. You will not find me wearing spurs on my boots. And most of the time, you will not find me listening to country music. But this one gentleman who passed away was a country boy. I strung his cowboy hat on his casket. I set up his spurs by his flowers. I played his country music during his visitation. Most of the songs, in my humble opinion had been the same old, same old country songs. (You know, “Look at my big truck”, “My dog ran away”, blah, blah, blah) But this one song, by this country fella named Brad Paisley, literally caused me to stop what I was doing and listen. Maybe you’ve heard it, it’s called, “When I get Where I’m Going”. (If not, you can listen to it here, the music video is pretty good, too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYHT-TF4KO4)
Anyways, I’m listening and thinking to myself, wow, this is a pretty song. And then I hear these lyrics:
I’m gonna walk with my grand daddy
And he’ll match me step for step
And I’ll tell him how I missed him
Every minute since he left
Then I’ll hug his neck
Yeah, and I literally start to cry. In the funeral home. During someone else’s wake. And I’m like, Jeez, Lauren, pull yourself together! You’re the funeral director! And then I went home and made my Mom listen to the song and at the same part I started to cry again. It’s so weird. My grandfather has been gone for eleven years this November. So it’s not like it’s a fresh wound. But hearing those lyrics made it feel so…new. It’s another reminder, that time doesn’t heal grief. Time changes grief. We learn to live with it. The loss becomes a new part of us, so we can smile at the memories. But certain circumstances, maybe a place, or a food, or a song, can still bring up those feelings of sadness and pain. But that’s okay, because we have that sadness and pain because we have experienced love. I’m not afraid to cry and experience grief. It’s temporary pain, anyways. Because one day, when I get where I’m going, I’m going to be reunited with every loss that I have experienced and I will be surrounded by unconditional love and everlasting joy.
I’m still not a country girl, but maybe, country music isn’t too bad after all.