We were well into the day when I realized John had been playing CDs for hours. He often plays music, but seldom does he keep it on all day. I hadn’t paid attention to the selections. I asked, “What is that piece? It is very dark.”
“It’s a requiem mass,” he replied.
On a hunch, I asked, “Is it for Brad?”
I understood then. It was the day of Brad’s wake when John was thinking particularly of our dear friend, Brad’s grandmother. John told me a long time ago that when he was young his mother used music with him as a way of expressing emotions. If he came home upset about something, they often went to the piano or phonograph where she played something appropriate that brought peace and healing.
The mass that was so dark was by Cherubini, a contemporary of Beethoven. John showed me the stack of disks, seven in all, that he had been playing. That didn’t include the Brahms Requiem that was in my collection. The most beautiful to me was the one by Victoria, a 16th century composer that is a favorite of both of us. As the music played, I feasted my eyes on the mountains, with mist after rain rising like prayer.
To sum up the day, our house was filled with the sound of grief. It was by turns heartrendingly sad, somber, dark, angry, accepting, beautiful, peaceful, uplifting, redeeming, ethereal, and totally restful. May you rest in the Lord’s peace, Brad.