My love of music is killing me.

I have been a music lover my entire life but now at age 51 I just can't listen without falling into a deep depression. My oldest son Devon inherited my love for music and took it even further. By age 25 he was a VERY talented guitar, bass player. We use to take turns playing tracks for each other just to broaden our herizons....but his gone now. I lost Devon 11-27-09 after a 6 year battle with cancer. I held his hand as he passed that night. The illness took everything but his love of music. His right cheek bone, right upper jaw bone, a rib, muscles in his abdomen and back,sight from his right eye...and finally his life....I could do nothing but watch....wishing it was me laying there going through that hell. Its been a year and a half now...his birthday will be next week. He would of been 29. Now when I listen to music I cry instead of smile. May be one day the joy will return but for now there is a hole too large to fill.

Hug your kids....Pease.
If you have not done so already, I urge you, as strongly as I possibly can, to seek professional assistance to address your feelings. Your reaction is completely understandable, but with the right help to sort out your grief and work through the pain, I'm betting you can begin to see music in a new light -- as the thing that sustained your son and one of the intangible, beautiful things that make life a gift for which we all should be grateful.

Please -- seek out a professional grief counselor. You do not have to work through this alone.
Dean...hang in there. Your Audiogon family hugs you. I wish you eventual peace of mind and hope that with the passage of time, you will be able to focus on the great times you had with your son sharing this hobby and the love of music. It is clear that it's too raw for you right now but hopefully in time, music will give you solace instead of pain. My deepest condolences to you and your family for your loss.
Hi Dean_fuller,

That's a sad story and many of us have been through heart breaking sadness in our lives. Having lost a child to MD and a wife of 25 years to cancer, I feel your pain. I would like you to know that your loved one would have wanted you to enjoy life and remember all of the goods about them! I'm sure your son was a wonderful talented individual whom loved you dearly. He wouldn't have wanted his father to give up his love for music. I will also share that a year and a half seams like a lifetime. However, as time passes it does get easier. Grieving is a process that isn't the same for every person. May G-D bless you and your family in dealing with the loss of your loved one. You are in my prayers and thoughts during this time of need.
I am incredibly sorry for your loss.

I use to feel that way when I heard music my parents loved or songs that brought back memories of past loves, special moments and general happy times of the past. For what ever reason....time I guess, it does get easier and now I look forward to reminiscing and take great joy in reliving all of the memories that made me who I am today.

You are a composite of all that you have experienced. The good and the unpleasant. It is in tragedy and in bliss that we really know/feel we are alive.

The best way to honor yourself and the memory of your son is to embrace the music you shared and loved. Listen with a 'new perspective', one that embraces all that it is to be human and to take pleasure in the music you had in common. Let yourself feel free to sob uncontrollably while you listen and realize that this is a part of the grieving process. It will pass and once you get that initial weight off of your chest and the lump in your throat disappears you will find that you will look forward to hearing that music again but now you will only have pleasant thoughts and warm remembrances of the special hobby and music you shared. This 'new perspective' will allow you to have a positive experience when you re-visit your music collection.

This has been my experience and yours may not be the same. It used to break my heart to hear certain songs because the emotions tied to them were sooo strong. That has passed and now I even increase the volume and now I am able to get myself into a spiritual "happy place" during those listening sessions. The tears have been replaced with smiles laughter and warm comforting thoughts.

I would suggest that Devon would not want you to give up on your "lifelong love of music" anymore than you would have wanted him to forego listening if it were you that had gotten sick and passed.

I realise that sometimes it is easier said than done. Speaking from experience, I have done it and as I mentioned above your experience may vary.

I challenge you to put on your favorite songs, crank up the volume and raise a glass to Devon and in his memory enjoy the heck out of that music. He will be listening with joy!

I will offer up a special prayer for you tonight. Peace!
I am very sorry to hear about you and your son. I'm certain that he'd want you to continue to enjoy the times you had together, remember his smile when certain music hits your ear.
You loved each other and you still do. That will always be.
I wish you peace.
I can relate to what you're going through. I lost my mom to cancer and my big brother to a serial killer in the same year. Music was just too painful because it tends to touch an emotional side of you like nothing else can. It was hard to listen to music that reminded me of them. With time the pain passes to a certain extent, and now I enjoy listening to music I know they loved and feel great comfort knowing they are beside me enjoying it right along with me.
I may sound a little cold but, yes, please allow someone else to share your pain and loss. Part of you wants to die as well, don't let it become too powerful.
Grief counselor would not be enough; if you decide to follow this path you should find a psychoanalytic psychotherapist or psychoanalyst. What you would want from this person requires high qualification.
I'm so sorry for your loss. It's not fair, and what a difficult thing to not only outlive your own son, but to watch him suffer for so long. I lost my dad to cancer and spent his last month with him, and also held his hand upon his last breath. It was mercifully brief, but the suffering left a scar in the deepest parts of me. That was over three years ago. I can tell you based on my own experience that the pain does not go away, but it does get gradually better over time. Life somehow goes back to some different version of "normal" that includes that hole you so rightfully observe as being too large to fill. It's wonderful that you've shared this so openly with the community and I'm touched by your post as well as all the kind and caring responses thus far. I just wanted to add one more cyber-hug to the group and remind you to treasure the memories you have of your son that will never be lost, and to keep sharing the memories and the feelings with others as you have here...counselor, friend, family, or strangers... and don't worry about the will come to you or not. I suspect it eventually will, though it may never be quite the same. Keep your strength.
Your feelings make perfect sense to me. I have walked the cancer road with losses of sibling, spouse. Many hospitals, many procedures, hopes raised and dashed, emotional meltdowns on long distance phone calls to family members, hours and hours in waiting rooms flipping through old magazines, reams of medical insurance paperwork and calls, and bristling at those physicians seriously wanting in empathy. Time may be a healer but each of us processes loss differently and there is no timeline. Nothing new here, but affirming and sharing matter. Kind thoughts and a big ((hug)).

"No one gets through this life unscathed"
I have been a physician for 30 years and I have seen my share of pain and suffering, and have now lost both of my parents. What little solice I can give you is this: a professional grief counselor would help you in your journey through this depression. For me, music is my anti-depressant, but for you there are too many associations of music and your suffering. Perhaps it is time to step away from music for the short term and slowly get back into it when you are feeling better. Instead, you may find some other creaative outlet such as drawing, photography, or some other artistic endeavor. Exercise is also good medicine and should be a part of everyone's recovery. I wish you well. Your son would want you to carry on...
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Hang in there Dean. In the past 6 months I’ve lost my father, my mother and several weeks ago my older brother. I could do nothing but standby and watch this unfold before me with the disbelief that yet another member of my family was actually gone. Music was a big part of their lives as it is mine. For me it’s been tough to hear songs come on the radio or in the grocery store that they loved so much but at the same time it’s an uplifting reminder that music brought us so much joy. If you give up your passion for listening to music then you will be losing a part of your life that both you and your son loved and shared.
If it hurts don't do it.The Doc's advise on exercise is correct,it served me when my wife passed.
Grief counseling is there as a help. It is not meant to allow you to get over your son's loss but rather to go on living. We do not get over the loss of a loved one but we can and do learn or can be taught how to continue and go forward.
For me, after the death of my wife, it came about that even if I were to have known what was to be, I would not have missed the experience of living with her and loving her. She is still with me now after more than two decades but my life has much joy also.
The pain and sorrow were worth the time we had.
May your son's memory be in time a blessing for you
I'm very sorry for your loss. My personal feeling is in agreement with many others here, seek help from others. Do not go through this alone! I'm sure there are others who have gone through a similar situation and would be more than happy to help.

Perhaps a time will come when the music will remind you of happy memories and time shared with your son rather than sadness. I'm hoping that will happen for you.
You definitely have my condolences. When my mom disappeared and it was becoming evident that she was probably dead, it helped to be around the living. It was suggested that I take some time off from coaching but I felt a bunch of laughing kids would make things easier, which it did. So I suggest some balance. Don't go the hermit road. Listening to my parents' favorite music still saddens me but it did help with the mourning process. So do both. JMHO and experience. Will be praying for you. Dan
Too much grief can destroy what you have left, and at your age you have a lot left. When the hole is too deep, you need professional help to get out, please seek it.
i work in a hospital and being really ill is another world so detached from the one outside. there is only one answer (from a secular standpoint) that i have found after witnessing a thousand recoveries and a thousand deaths- give yourself permission to enjoy your life every day. if you're healthy and able to get around you should never forget to appreciate this simple reality. i have witnessed many patients, even those with terminal illnesses, that really do get it.
your son was really special, and you were able to spend some precious moments with him.
as others have suggested, chronic depression is nothing to ignore if it continues to prevent you from embracing life and all of its gifts.
There are those days I want to scream. There are those days I want to cry. I lost my grandson 4 years ago to bone cancer. He was 7 years and 8 months old to the day. The pain doesn't go away. It hurts less, but bothers me more. I think about him every day. Life goes on, because that's just how it is. Talking about it helps, which is why a trained therapist will help. It will get better, not necessarily worlds better, but better enough so you can move on. It takes time. Thank you for reaching out.

Dean, this story is heartbreaking and very close to home as well. I shared a similar music appreciation with my Father where we would trade off cuts 'till the wee hours. He passed back in 1993 and it was some time before I could feel the same about music and we also enjoyed target shooting together. I was able to overcome the music loss with him but have not gone target shooting since 1993...I wish there was an easy way to get over this but there isn't other than remembering that he would not have wanted you to give up something the two of you loved so much...
Best wishes
I cant imagine your pain but many here are with you in spirit or more if you need to reach out. With some time and help I hope you can find peace and joy in music once again, listen to music you both shared could one day be a uplifting experience bringing back memories of laughter and joy. He would want that for you just as sure as you would want that for him. Maybe till you get to that point try and listen to exclusively new music, perhaps that will keep your love of music alive while avoiding pain till you have time and help to work through this incredible pain. You know myself and others are here for a phone call or email so by all means reachout. The loss of a son or any loved one is a tragedy but to stop living yourself is perhaps more tragic, your son sadly wasnt in control of his destiny but you my friend are and as survivors we owe it to those who passed to live life to the fullest. Godspeed
Dean, please accept my deepest condolences. Your grief is appropriate considering that your son died less than 2 years ago. People do get 'stuck' in the bereavement process and it would be a positive step to seek out others who share your experience. We all need a witness to our pain and seeing a grief counselor either solo or within a group can bring much needed respite.
Your post has got a 52 year old, normally stoic man, crying at his computer this afternoon. You have received some great advice, no more from me. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I will hug my kids today. Peace
"Now when I listen to music I cry instead of smile."

Though one cannot compare ones trials and tribulations to another person's, the best I can say is that some of my favorite and most endearing music is the music that brings a tear to my eye when it strikes a chord that makes me remember a loved one, either living or deceased.

Also there have been times when I could not get myself to cue any music up for similar reasons however eventually I found the strength needed to do it and found it to be quite therapeutic in hindsight. Sometimes its like having to force yourself to take some bad tasting medicine that you know will help in the long term.

My wish for you is that you are able to tap you inner strength and perhaps your enduring inherent love of music and what you and your son shared in it to help provide the catalyst towards better days ahead as well!

"Never Blame the Rainbow for the Rain".

As everyone else has said you have all of my prayers and wishes today!
You MUST seek out both professional and spiritual guidance in whatever way that strikes you...

Remember what made your son laugh, peeked his musical interests,challenged his musical skill,elevated his soul and make these your thoughts as you listen to those musical passages that brought you closer together!

Kudos to my extended Audiogon family today as well for showing that,in a time of need, we can all lift each other's spirits!


Thanks for the advice, just hugged mine today.

Perhaps you should take a break from music for a while and get involved in a new activity something that involves being with other people. Sports, cards, yoga.

Reach out any time you feel the need.

The best
We are glad that you shared your situation by starting this thread. A very friendly and empathetic community here. As said above and very well put, "you know myself and others are here for a phone call or email so by all means reachout". It may not make sense now, but good things do emerge from bad. Musically, I can only suggest possibly exploring something completely different. Otherwise get out, visit the forums more.. and as also suggested above, don't become a hermit :)
Dean your loss and subsequent pain has given us all something very important to think about. "Hug your kids……..please". How right you are, a great message, thanks!
Dear Dean,

I commend your bravery for sharing your greif and loss and reaching out is a positive action for you to choose.

I could not begin to write or qualify words that would even comprehend or understand your loss. The relationship between you and your son and the loves you shared, try your very best to see those great things as your focus and remember how happy you and your son were having them. Remember the positive happy memories and the music will always keep your conection strong and those positive memories you shared are the focus you need to see far an above the tragic and difficult circumstance you have endured.

Those positives are what made him so special to you as you were to him and I firmly beleive he would wish you to think of him and yourself by celibrating the life you shared and for you to find happiness and joy in your life and music.

Godspeed Dean
My God, I can't imagine the pain. Yours, not your son's. I can imagine your son's pain, and it must have been horrible. He must have sprung into the afterlife with glee!
But it's yours that I hope I'll never be able to fully comprehend; being a father myself.
Your pain and depression are surely necessary, and obviously understandable; but in the endeavor to live your life the way your son would want you to, you must be vigilant to keep the darkness from slipping into "clinical" depression. So a support group at least, OK?
Keep listening to music. He would surely want you to do that, and when you find yourself forgetting for a few moments as you get lost in your favorite passages, don't feel guilty. This is part of the process of healing too.
We'll all be together with our loved ones one day; but lets not rush things. I'm sure that as much as they look forward to seeing us, they're not in any hurry for that to happen either.
As others have said, please seek professional help. The music you shared that now brings pain can be turned around but it will take time. The association is so strong that you'll need to channel it to someone who can guide you and absorb your loss so all that remains are the good and loving memories, which can only strengthen your love of music and the memory of your son. Like all paths, you have to start and the sooner the better. Presently, music is the key to your pain but even without it, the pain will persist. It's merely a trigger and has no cathartic value anymore. It can all be turned around.
You have my deepest sympathies and my thoughts go out to you this evening.
The toughest thing for a parent is to lose a child. Remember it is good to cry and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. iMHO, You don't need help you simply need to accept how you feel (perfectly normal after your loss) and embrace it rather than fight it.

I recommend this song "Tears in Heaven" by Eric Clapton.
Dean is not talking. Perhaps things are getting worse.
My hope is that Dean is seeking and getting professional help. The amount of pain caused by that lost must be great. There is a lump in my throat just from reading his post. Music should soothe and heal not hurt.
He isnt a big frequent poster, only a few dozen participations in 5 years. He probably wanted to be heard and get folks thinking about how precious time, life, and family are. Dean you did that beautifully.
Thank you for sharing and reminding us how important it is to
hug our children! I am very grateful for my 2 daughters and grandson, plus their husband and fiance, after losing my wife
last year they are keeping me sane... I pray that you will stay strong and enjoy as much life as you can! Professional help can hasten your ability to deal with such a tragic loss.
My sincere condolences!
As you can tell, alot of people are caring about you. I've had to deal with the pain of a loss of a loved one. It's a very personal thing. It was a good thing to post here. The heart will try and heal itself and it takes time. Long walks or some form of exercise seems to be additive. Please check back with us.

I will. Thank you for the reminder.
Dean, i know how hard is to lose someone. My most sincere thoughts.
Dean, we lost our youngest son, Michael, 9 years ago. I know what I went through and can understand your pain and anger. It took me about 6 years to realize there was no one I could hurt, kill, maim, or even point a finger at and make it better. Contact me if you want to talk. I won't guarantee I can help because I still fight it every day. ;-)
Your post has got a 52 year old, normally stoic man, crying at his computer this afternoon.
Ditto for this 59'er. For your pain and also for the horror and fear that it unleashes in all of us w children. I, too, urge you to get some help in trying to find a way to get past this. Not get over it, I know you never will. But time does help. I have a close friend who lost a 20 y.o. son, maybe 15 years ago. You can make it to the other side of your grief; if it takes a professional guide then, so be it. In the mean time, your Audiogon friends (even friends you haven't met yet, me included) wish you all the best.

Dan_ed- I had no idea. My deepest sympathies to you and the rest of Michael's family.

My son is getting a major hug when he gets home tonight.
This November it will be 5 years since the loss of my 15 year old daughter to cancer and indeed there is a certain horror to those last days that cannot be described.
I too then reached out to my newly found friends at AudioCircle, who will never know how much their support and love helped me survive. Literally.
Cancer blows.
I wish you whatever peace you can find, my friend and brother in this fight.
An emotional injury can be worse than a physical injury. I would suggest 1) Eat well 2) Exercise 3) Write your thoughts down. Take care of yourself, you couldn't be good to a nicer person.
Thanks folks for all the encouagement. I wrote the email because it was on my mind big time. Watching others out taking their family...their kids for granted. Like they will always be there and there will always be time to make it up...say I'm sorry.

I knew Devon was not going to be with me for long. What was worse was HE knew he would not be here much longer either. How alone he must of felt. But he wasn't. I was there.

I really wanted to help others wake up and see what they have. Its too easy to get tangled up in the crap that is our lives. Money, vacations, a bigger house...its all crap without sharing it with those that we love. REALLY...if you love your wife, husband, kids...don't let ONE day go by without letting them knowing it. The night before Devon passed I went in his room and I told him " Love you bud". He always answered "love you too". Don't cheat yourself out of knowing you said what you wanted BEFORE you regret it later.

I miss him every moment. The only thing that keeps me going is I hope to see him again.
Amen. Thank you for your generous reminder to all of us.
On this Fathers Day, I salute Dean, mine and all the other great dads!
Today is Devon's birthday.
Happy Birthday Devon, we will all share some music on the other side with you soon pal. Godspeed