About 14 years ago, after my mother died from cancer, I needed the help of a grief counselor to get through the grief process and be able to move on with my life. This led to me spending the next four years doing volunteer work in the Grief Center at the local Hospice. I basically did whatever needed to be done – filing, copying, etc., but also ended up helping with weekend Grief Camp for individuals and families who had experienced a loss, and leading grief groups.

Last week I was asked by the grief counselor with whom I had done my own grief work – he is now head of the Counseling Dept at a local college – to speak to one of his classes. As part of this course, he wanted them to hear from people who had experienced loss, about their own particular struggle and path to healing. I was one of several people who told “my story” to these students.

Another part of this class focused on the benefit of music and grief. The students were asked to bring in a song or piece of music that they had found helpful in times of loss and grief – music that brought peace, comfort, hope, etc. I, of course, told them about music2work2. When I lost my beloved dog, Cassie, shortly before Christmas 2006, Andrew had composed a piece of music in memory of her. It made me feel cared about that he would give me such an awesome gift, and it helped me to remember the joy she had given me, the times of her playing and running about - - it replaced the painful final picture I was left with of her lifeless body lying in her bed, with happier memories of the wonderful 15 years she had been a loving and loyal companion.

Following the class, one of the students gave me a cd of piano music that he had recorded. The songs are a variety of classical pieces, movie themes, and instrumental versions of music made famous by pop artists. The title of the cd is “Music For Reflection & Healing” by Rickey D. Johnson. Mr. Johnson is a talented pianist and I very much appreciated his gift of the cd.

Not just for the fact that it confirms the basic belief upon which music2work2 is built - - that music is helpful - in almost all aspects of life, I am very glad that the benefits of music are being recognized more and more. Music has certainly been an important part of my life; different songs or pieces of music elicit memories of events or people in my life as far back as I can remember, and evoke a variety of feelings and emotions. For me, it is one of life’s essential elements.