Posts tagged “still birth

Our most difficult – and most rewarding – performance

For independent musicians, when that phone rings or the email comes in with the gig you’ve been waiting for it’s like Christmas. We got a call like that last month, when Julie Paris of Russ & Julie’s House Concerts called to ask if we’d be available for April 21, 2012. This very high profile, long-standing Southern California house concert series takes years to get into, and we’re thrilled!

But as exciting as it was to get that call, the call that we cherish every time it comes is the invitation to provide music for the HAND Service of Remembrance held each October in Woodside, California.

Its not a big stage, there are no throngs of screaming fans. HAND stands for Helping After Neonatal Death.

HAND is a volunteer group of parents who have experienced the loss of a baby before, during or after birth. This is love that can change the world by making a real difference in the lives of families effected by an unfathomable tragedy.

The HAND volunteers are parents who have lost children themselves, and their experience has established a desire to offer support to other parents, their relatives and friends during the normal mourning following miscarriage, interruption of a wanted pregnancy, stillbirth or newborn death of their babies.

The service is coming up Sunday October 9. The parents read poems or other remembrances of their babies interspersed with the songs that we chose, and the names of all the babies are read aloud. Wildflower seeds are spread in the meadow.

This year we’ll be offering two of our songs (“Now is What We Are” from Any Doorway Will Do and “There’s a Light” from Love Can Change The World) as well as JD Martin and Paul Williams’ magnificent “Invisible Hands” and Julie Miller‘s “I Still Cry.”

We sang “I Still Cry’ at our first HAND Service of Remembrance. This is a beautiful song that has taken on deep meaning for us as a result of this experience.

I Still Cry, Julie Miller

I’m making flowers out of paper
while darkness takes the afternoon
I know that they won’t last forever
but real ones fade away too soon

I still cry sometimes when I remember you
I still cry sometimes when I hear your name
I said goodbye and I know you’re alright now
But when the leaves start falling down I still cry

It’s just that I recall September
it’s just that I still hear your song
It’s just I can’t seem to remember
forever more those days are gone

I still cry sometimes when I remember you
I still cry sometimes when I hear your name
I said goodbye and I know you’re alright now
But when the leaves start falling down I still cry

When the leaves come falling down now, I still cry

A few weeks after that first Service of Remembrance we were talking about it with a licensed therapist friend of ours who works as a counselor at local hospital. She told us that what we had no way of knowing when we chose this song, is that when a woman loses a baby but needs to stay in the maternity ward, a fall leaf is placed on her door to signify her loss to the nurses and volunteers.

It’s the hardest, and most rewarding performance that we do. It has made us aware of a reality of life that we never would have pondered otherwise. It makes us grateful for our own children. It makes us grateful for the parent volunteers who offer their time and their compassion to help others through the experience that has shaped their own lives.

That’s love.