Margaret’s story

For Margaret, music therapy has enabled her to be creative, expressive and musical again in a time of grief. Posthumously, and through music, Margaret and her late husband have written a love song together.

Through music therapy, Margaret and her late husband have written a love song together; keeping John very close in a time of loss, loneliness and isolation.

Margaret has been working with music therapist Alan since December 2020 with both 1:1 music therapy and an online choir at The Kirkwood. Her husband John, who sadly passed away in May 2020 was supported by The Kirkwood, a hospice that provides specialist palliative care for the terminally ill until his death.

Margaret and John were married for 63 years and during their time together John wrote many poems for Margaret. With support from Alan, Margaret composed her own song using one of John’s poems, which detailed all the things he loved about her. As part of the song, Margaret wrote the melody herself, and wrote some verses in response back to her husband.

Dawn, Margaret’s daughter, told us that since John died Margaret had been quite isolated due to lockdown with little choice but to stay at home.

“When we found out about the Virtual Choir and Music Therapy, it was a real life-saver and a breath of fresh air. I think it’s really helped Mum to be able to talk about Dad and to share his poetry with Alan. Mum will often break into song, and I’m sure that singing helps to lift her spirits, but I don’t think she had ever considered that she could write her own song. With Alan’s encouragement, she has done just that, which must give her a sense of great achievement – and using Dad’s words has made it that much more special. I see it as a way of connecting with Dad and keeping his memory alive.”

Music therapy has enabled Margaret to be creative, expressive and musical again in a time of grief. Through music, Margaret has joined others in an interactive, communal, meaningful and enjoyable singing experience with the online choir – and her individual sessions have enabled her to engage and share her emotions in a positive and supported way. Posthumously, and through music therapy, Margaret and her late husband have written a love song together; keeping John very close in a time of loss, loneliness and isolation.

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Margaret said about her music therapy with Alan,

“I will admit that I was a little apprehensive, not knowing what to expect, but I needn’t have been. I told Alan how John used to write poems for me and I read one of them out to Alan, who said why didn’t I put the words to music. I’ve never written a song before so my first reaction was, “I can’t write music!” – but, Alan continued to encourage me and over the next week I kept singing the words instead of speaking them and slowly the tune was there. I was really thrilled! It makes me feel both happy and very sad at the same time when I’m singing John’s words.”

Margaret and John's verses to one another...

YOU

(Verses to Margaret) 

You are the glue that holds me together,

The first to come when I call

You take my hand if I stumble,

You help me up if I fall.

 

You are my sun when I waken,

My moon and my stars so bright

You are the blanket that keeps me warm

On a cold and frosty night.

 

You are my light at the end of the tunnel,

My prayer at the end of the day

You are the signpost in my life,

Always showing me the way.

 

You are the flickering candle

That brightens up the gloom

Yours is the smile I look for

When I walk into a room.

 

I know I am blessed to have someone like you

With whom to share my life

You are just my everything –

My caring, loving wife.

                Poem by John R.

YOU

(Verses to John)

 You came into my life through words

Written from across the sea

Fortune surely had a hand

In bringing you to me

 

I miss you more as time goes by

I miss your smile each day

You came into my life so

long ago

And we promised to love and obey

 

You only had to wink or smile

To set my heart a flutter

You were the only one for me

There truly was no other

 

You were taken far too soon

Goodbye we couldn’t say

But I know my love within my heart

We will meet again one day

 

I see you now within my dreams

Although we are apart

You may be gone my darling, but

You are forever in my heart

 Poem by Margaret R.

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