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Using Music to Bear My Soul

Updated on January 21, 2022
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Twelve years into this journey I am still learning and living and loving.


A Widow's Story

For 30 years of marriage I was living a dream life. A happy marriage, 5 children all healthy and enjoying their separate stages of life, my husband retired, allowing us to spend more time together while still raising our two remaining children at home. We loved to garden, travel and be with our extended family. We had just celebrated our oldest daughters wedding and were dreaming of grandchildren in our future when our family lost one of it's anchors; our father, daddy, husband, lover, teacher, mentor, and friend. All of us were blindsided by this and I found immense solace to write about our loss. In the first weeks following my husband's death, I decided to continue with a trip to the beach that we had planned. The beach always gives me such introspection, peace and love for our created world. It was there that I had a divine inspiration to write a song about my experience.

This song is the second one I wrote; it is a ballad of our last day together. The words and music came to me in my home one day; just literally out of the sky into my head and hands and I started writing the words down, then the music. In my 48 years of playing the piano, I had never once written any music. Suddenly with the loss of my husband, I found myself being inspired by my faith, to write and compose songs!

Here is the story of losing my husband.

Ordinary Day

© Joanie Ruppel 3/29/2010

It was an ordinary day, we went about our chores

Passed by in the hallways and through the kitchen door.

The smiles were like always, the love we knew was there

Difference t’was the last day, yet we were unaware.

I made the call at 3 o’clock, the EMTs came fast

“we’re flying him to Dallas, the doctors there are best.”

Just when you think your life is perfect, feeling smug and all at ease.

Then God’s plan brings you to your knees.

I put to work the things I knew; stay calm, take action, pray.

Surrounded by friends and family, the priest and strangers there.

Night one was long and restless but we made it through OK,

Hoped all would turn out just fine, back to ordinary days.

Days turned into three, procedures numbered two,

Alarm began when they told us, “we’re moving to another room”

Just when you think your life is perfect, feeling smug and all at ease.

Then God’s plan brings you to your knees.

My legs got weak, my breath got short, my mind and soul went numb

They told me what I didn’t want to hear, “it would be a pour outcome.”

With hundreds we mourned, with hundreds more we prayed,

Hundreds more sent thoughts and wishes every single day.

Six weeks have passed and here I am crying through these songs

The way God works to heal us, simply cannot be wrong.

Just when you think your life is perfect, feeling smug and all at ease.

Then God’s plan brings you to your knees.

It was an ordinary day, the last one with my love,

An ordinary day, now he’s watching from above.

Where Are We Now?

Life is a gift and we try to live in the moment since we have experienced first-hand how it can be stolen from us in just a moment. The best way I can describe how I personally feel is that sometimes my insides don't match my outsides but as time goes on, you have less and less people to confide in who are able to understand that grief does not really go away, it just changes as time goes on.

For those who can relate, I pray your life is also filled with good times and that you are creating new memories for those around you.

My family!
My family! | Source

The Music Magic Continues

Most of my song writing came within the first year of losing my husband. It's been 12 years now and every once and while, a song comes to me. One came from a rekindled friendship with an old family friend and another came as my daughter and I were finishing up our second round of grief counseling at The WARM Place in Ft. Worth, Texas. Both songs were magically formed and simply flowed out of my heart and then the melody through my fingers. I hope one day I can get them recorded.

How Can You Help?

Pick up the phone right now and call someone you know who has suffered a loss. It doesn't matter if it was last week or 20 years ago, they will appreciate your gesture.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 Joanie Ruppel


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