Grief: Until we meet again

The other night, I was feeling senitmental about music from my childhood. I mentioned Vera Lynn in a post about music from the “early days”. Music that my grandfather and mother loved.

My mother was born and raised in London, England until she was fourteen. The family moved to Canada and if you asked her, she would tell you she was a proud Canadian. But her British roots were important to her.

She loved music from artists like Elton John. She was obsessed with anything to do with the Royal Family and Princess Diana. And she, along with my grandfather loved Vera Lynn’s music.

She also loved tea time. She drank Red Rose tea throughout the day. Whenever my grandfather came over, they enjoyed biscuits with jam and a few cups of tea.

I just cried. I honestly, really just cried when I learned that Vera Lynn died at the age of 103. She popped into my head the other night for no reason. I listened to a few of her old songs like We’ll Meet Again.

These songs always make me tear up.

I lost my grandfather, John, who once served on a Navy ship during the war as a cook. He had so many stories to tell of the war and his travels. He was proud of his service – and proud of his family. He died of natural causes in 2007 at the age of 95.

I never met my grandmother – Vi. She died in 1969, even before my sister was born. She never got to meet any of her grandchildren. I think I look a lot like her. I’m always told I look like my mum.

When my grandfather died in 2007, the same week my aunt Esther died – aid I performed at both funerals – the hardest week of my life – mum listened to this music.

I listen to it when I’m thinking of my own mum, who I lost six years ago.

Grief never really leaves you. It never goes away. You never forget the people who loved you the most.

Music has a way of reminding us of that. And today, while listening to “We’ll Meet Again” – I cried for like the millionth time. Because that’s what this song does.

I like to think that there is an after life. A life where we get to see our loved ones again. I don’t know if there is a heaven. But if there is a place like this – I like to think that my mother is enjoying a cup of tea with her parents right now and listening to this music just like I am.

Rest well, Dame Vera Lynn.

You were part of so many memories from my childhood.

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