Goodnight, Dad

My dad died thirteen years ago today. Playing my harp at the hospice unit today was a good way to be present with my memories of him. A kind man stopped and with tears in his eyes, thanked me for playing. Perhaps I was closing a circle, perhaps I was the stranger easing his grieving heart, just as a stranger eased my dad’s passing.

This afternoon I worked on a new harp tune I’m learning, Brother James’ Air. Tonight I went to the recorder ensemble rehearsal. Playing harp and playing recorder are things that would have made my dad happy for me, had I done them while he was still alive. He loved music, and he gave his love of music to me.

I can’t ask for a better legacy.


10 thoughts on “Goodnight, Dad

  1. There is something about harp music that really speaks to people who are grieving. I remember playing the harp for my Uncle Don’s funeral back in 2009. It was very emotional and a difficult thing to do. I also played for him while he was ill and it seemed to allow him to let his emotions out, I felt happy that I could help what he was going through albeit in a tiny way. I still remember the piece I played and I still think of him when I play it. Losing a family member is so hard. Sending my love, and what a lovely thing to do – play at a hospice – I’m sure you were appreciated more than you know.


    1. Somehow the harp magic works, both for the people we play for, and for us as we find our way through the grief of losing our loved ones. I think we are fortunate to have our harps – we know how to soothe our hearts, at least for a little while.


    1. This time I think I was the one who was helped the most by playing at hospice on my dad’s anniversary. But I am heartened by the idea of a circle of caring passing thorough all the years between his death and now.


    1. Thank you, Nanci. Singing with my dad when we were in the car together is one of my favorite memories. There wasn’t a Broadway musical that we didn’t cover. My Fair Lady and South Pacific were favorites. Oklahoma was fun to sing, too. And we sang Gilbert and Sullivan stuff as well. He showed me the joy that music holds. Who could ask for more?!?


  2. Yes, Ed would have loved all your music and probably would have looked adorable in one of your knitted wool hats with the pigtails.


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