With Love & Appreciation (When a Loved One Dies)
There is no greater bond than the love between an infant and the mother and father who care for the child. I was fortunate to carry that deep love throughout my life by becoming a close friend with my mother as an adult. During a phone call in the 89th year of her life, she told me she had only a few months left in her body, and I traveled to where she was living to spend time with her. At the end of my visit, I said goodbye, thought better of it and said, 'au revoir' - and as I turned away to go, a grief bigger than any I had ever known swept through me. I began to feel the depth of my love for her and how much I would miss our friendship. I wrote poetry all the way home to express my feelings. When I arrived home, I discovered that I had written two complete lyrics which I wrote music for, recorded and sent to my mother. I found that writing songs helped me to accept that she would be gone, to prepare myself to be loving and positive and go on with my life. The first four songs were written to her while she was alive, then I recorded her reading the farewell letter she wrote to friends and family. The next two songs were written when she was alive but mostly unconscious, then two more were written the week after her death. My wife, Karen, wrote the lyrics to the next song, and the last song is a poem she had read at her service, which I put to music. The writing started four months before her death and the recording process went on for the ten months after her passing. I feel my mother's love and presence every day; this album is a touchstone and tribute to the love she and I shared. As Joseph Campbell once said, 'We are not here until we can say yea to it all.'