So I want to shift gears a little bit in this post, and go back to focusing on my music a little. However, there is of course a spiritual message here too, as that is a big part of my life and also my music. This blog will be the first in a series that I will call “Story Behind The Song”, where I will talk a little bit about what inspires me when I write my music, and what experiences or ideas of mine that create the foundation for each of my songs.
The first song out is “The Sun Will Shine Again”. This song is on my self-titled EP from 2008, and you can listen to it or purchase it by following the links on my music page here on my website, or play the YouTube video at the bottom of this blog. I don’t recall exactly when I wrote it, but it must have been a year or two before I released the album. It is based on a dream that I had a few months after my mother passed away, back in 2001.
As I mention in my bio, my mother suffered from a severe mental illness since before I was born. She got various diagnoses, but the last one that was settled upon was schizoaffective disorder. Hearing voices, mood swings and paranoia were recurring symptoms, and she wasn’t always the easiest person to be around. Still, I was very close to my mother, and when she was in one of her good periods, we could talk about pretty much anything. Despite her illness, my mother was still very open, non-judgmental and caring. She had antennas and could tell when her kids were upset and needed to talk, or could use some encouraging words, or a hug. There was nothing I didn’t feel I could tell her.
During my childhood and teenage years my mom received incorrect medication. As a result she was very distant and had regular bouts of anxiety attacks when she would just stare into space and it was difficult to connect with her. She later said that she had trouble feeling anything during this time, including a real love for her children, something that troubled her greatly. However, in my late teens her medication was switched, and it was like she woke up from a slumber. She could feel again, she was more alert and made many changes to her life, including divorcing my dad, and getting herself new doctors and therapists.
Although it was a tumultuous time in many ways, we could all see the positive changes in her from this moment on. She would always tell me and my brothers how much she loved us and how proud she was of us. She was also very open about her illness, and even became somewhat of an activist, speaking up for people with mental illness, trying to reduce the stigma as well as providing a deeper understanding of what it was like being a mental patient, both for lay people and health personnel. All in all things seemed to get better and better, so it came as a shock to most of us when she decided to take her own life.
Up until my mother’s death, my life had been pretty mundane, and I had just been going through the motions, not really thinking much about life and what I wanted to do with it. However, this was a wake-up call in more ways than one. Her death forced me to face my own mortality, and realizing that I didn’t want to live a life that was void of meaning. I didn’t want to grow old and regret all the things that I hadn’t done. Since I was a little girl, I had always loved to sing and play music. So now I vowed that I would take steps to pursue a music education, and also a career in music, in time. This is what resulted in my moving to Los Angeles to attend Musicians Institute the following year.
However, there were other aspects of this awakening that my mother’s passing brought about, that were more spiritual in nature. I became aware of a force outside of myself that sort of took over, in the couple of days after her passing. Although I was devastated, it became very important to me to give my mother a proper farewell, from myself singing at the funeral, to others contributing with speeches etc. and also a gathering after the funeral. I had never organized anything in my life, but somehow, it was like something guided me in that, a force that I had never felt before. And then, a couple of months later, I had a profound dream about my mother, that inspired the song that is the topic of this blog entry.
In the dream, which I actually don’t think was a dream at all, but an experience in a different reality of sorts, I encountered my mother as I had never seen her in real life. She was dressed in white, radiated love, and appeared completely healed and whole, nothing like the woman I had known. We talked to each other, but didn’t appear to use words, it was more like a telepathic communication. I don’t remember any specifics of what we talked about, but the overall feeling that I felt she wanted to convey to me, was that she didn’t want me to worry, or be sad. She showed me that she was fine, and that there is a greater reality than the one we know, that is full of love. I could tap into that reality any time, and know that she and my guides would watch over me. Everything would turn out fine.
When I woke up, the feeling of love remained with me, and I burst into tears. I was supposed to go to work that morning, but called in to say that I would be a little late, as I needed time to process the dream and everything that it made me feel. In the end it was a turning point in my grief, and has been a constant comfort for me since. Also because I have come across both in spiritual circles and religions, people that condemn suicides, and talk about how destructive it is for the soul. Although I don’t doubt that it can be, I also believe that love is the stronger force, and to me, the dream showed me that my mother was in a better place and that there is no punishment on the other side, only love.
So that is the story behind my song, “The Sun Will Shine Again”. I hope you enjoy the song, and the story behind it, and that it you may find both the song and story uplifting and comforting, just as the experience was for me.
As always, sending you so much love & light,