The other day I was thinking about Lauren while I was going through my music, and so I made a playlist of songs that remind me of her for whatever reason, or songs that have simply helped me deal with trauma in my life. This is the list and the reasons behind them.
1. Danny Boy – This was the Eastern Regions song in 8th grade. This is when Lauren and I really started to be friends.
2. Reflection – Christina Aguilera (We sang this song together at the 8th grade graduation party. Practicing for this was when we started to really become close. I remember the day we sang it in front of everybody; we did really well. We were the only people who took the karaoke seriously lol.)
3. My Immortal – Evanescence (to be part of the soundtrack to the movie made from Lauren and Sam’s book. She was really excited because they hadn’t even finished the book yet but she was already imagining it being turned into a movie…)
4. Hamster Song – At Lauren’s before homecoming Sophomore year we were goofing off on her computer and she had this song stuck in her head. We listened to it about five times in a row and laughed and laughed.
5. Held – Natalie Grant (This song helped me get through Lauren’s death. It comforted me and let me know that I could get through this. It reminded me that I had my faith and Lauren did too, and that maybe there isn’t an answer, not one that I’ll find here on earth. It reminded me that I have God to turn to and that I am not alone in my suffering.)
6. For Good – Wicked (Wicked was Lauren’s favorite musical. I remember her talking about it in school one morning and telling me that one of our friends didn’t like it, but she thought that it was only because they hadn’t listened to it yet.)
7. Seasons of Love – Rent (Chamber Choir sang this my sophomore year in the Spring, in the Pops concert that Lauren would have been singing in. It was also the finale sang at the concert. This song gives me hope and just reminds me to appreciate the time I have in life and to live it to the fullest. Lauren lived her life like that. And I’m grateful for the time I had with her. “Give love, spread love, measure your life in love…”)
8. Wanting Memories – I love this song; I sang this in Chamber Choir last year. At one of our first concerts of the year, Mr. Hammond asked us to think more about what this song actually means, to relate it to our own life. Then it hit me that this song really relates to me and Lauren. Ever since, I always sing this song for her. Not all the lyrics fit the situation, but the general feeling and the lyrics of the chorus are perfect. “I am sitting here, wanting memories to teach me to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes… Since you’ve gone and left me, there’s been so little beauty, but I know I saw it clearly through your eyes… I thought that you were gone, but now I know you’re with me… I know that I’ve been blessed again and over again…”
9. Wesley, Why? – Matt Wertz (This is a sad song about a friend’s early death, but at the same time it has an optimistic, happy feel to it. I can relate to it because of Lauren, but it doesn’t just make me sad, it lifts me up.)
10. No One Is Alone – In “Into the Woods” I was the Baker’s Wife, and I sang this in the scene where I am comforting my husband after my death, and telling him he will be okay raising our child on his own. The song and themes in it occur many times throughout the musical. It gives a message of hope after losing something. It doesn’t have to be a someone that you’ve lost, it can be anything – hope, love, direction, anything. The melody is beautiful and comforting. This song doesn’t only make me think of Lauren because it’s just comforts me in general, but sometimes it helps me when I think of her.
11. Michael – This is one of the saddest, most heart-wrenching songs I have ever heard. It is sung with so much passion and emotion, and the music even ebbs and flows with the power of the song. Everything about this song is beautiful, from the voices of the guys in the band to the honest lyrics and the way the instruments are played. I cried the first time I heard this song, surprising considering that I never cry. But I think music has a way of opening me up, of experiencing my own emotions but with the help of someone else expressing their own. Art connects to me most strongly when it has to do with these kind of things. Sometimes I find myself getting emotionally attached to ridiculous movies or songs, just because I can relate to one part. When I watched the movie Aquamarine (yes, the one about the mermaid) I got emotional when the little girl got pushed in the pool and freaked out because her parents died from drowning. The rest of the movie is floofy and shallow, but it’s a sad movie to me because of that one, 30 second scene. The next song on this playlist does something similar to me, but much more understandably.
12. Let It Be – The Beatles (This song has always had power over me, but after I saw the scene in Across the Universe it has meant so much more. This song is one I listen to whenever I’m feeling down, and it definitely helps me deal with Lauren’s death. It is not necessarily an uplifting song, but it’s very honest and open, and has a sense of acceptance of things we may never be able to understand.)
13. Blackbird – Another Beatles song. This one has more hope in it, and is really just a message I need to give to myself once and a while. Whether the future be grim, bright, dark, gray, or beautiful, just FLY, "blackbird, fly, into the light of a dark, black night..."
need to give to myself once and a while. Whether the future be grim, bright, dark, gray, or beautiful, just FLY, "blackbird, fly, into the light of a dark, black night..."
14. In Whatever Time We Have – This song is more about my senior year than about dealing with Lauren, but that’s definitely included in the scope of things this song applies to in my life. Senior year was really difficult, thinking that Lauren would have been graduating with us and would have been singing this song with us. Chamber Choir sang this at the final concert in June, and every time I sang or heard it, it reminded me that I was leaving soon, entering a new world and way of life – college. And leaving good ol’ Ledyard without Lauren moving on with me meant that she really was gone. Now that I’ve been here for a while I’m not as homesick, but sometimes I wish I could tell Lauren about my experiences, and that she could be going through all this too. I wasn’t even home for the anniversary of her death this year, because I was here.
I made this playlist while I was daydreaming for my FSEM. This is what I wrote about the daydreaming process:
(Daydreaming) I started listening to some music that reminded me of Lauren and then I spent about an hour making a playlist of it all on iTunes and then listened to a few songs on repeat. I was really zoning out, but I wasn’t thinking about anything except how the songs made me feel and how they related to Lauren now and then. After I made the list, then I started second-guessing myself on one of the songs. I put it on the playlist because I thought Lauren and I sang it in chorus together, but when I thought about it more and I’m not sure if we actually did. I hate the feeling that I’ve forgotten; not just that I don’t quite remember and it’ll come back to me, the feeling that I’ve lost something and I can’t get it back. I guess I could look it up on the LHS Music website, see who was in what chorus freshman year. I don’t think Lauren and I were in chorus together freshman year… But at the same time I thought we were in chorus together at one point in high school. But it couldn’t have been sophomore year because I was just in Chamber Choir. I know we were planning on rooming together on the music trip to Washington D.C. that year. And I thought we sang that song together, but really maybe I just told her about it. I know I was in chorus with her in middle school, and we went to Eastern Regionals together. And freshman year she was in Chorale and sang “You’re the One that I Want” for Pops Concert. She thought the choreography was so fun (“Feeeelll your way!”). I wish I could just ask her.
I used to always forget the anniversary of Lauren’s death. I never knew the date. Thanksgiving would roll around and I would know that it was coming, but never exactly when. All I knew was that it happened on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I think now I’ll always remember the number – 22 – because this year was different. Being away at college and not remembering the date was a terrible feeling.