Tag Archives: loss

The Music

It’s interesting. I just posted that I won’t be able to post that often and here I am posting.

Something came up.

A lot of things actually.

A lot of pain in the world and death and destruction.

There is a lot to talk about and a lot of people are talking and writing and spouting off what they think and politicizing tragedy.  I’m not going to do that.

I’m interested in people’s hearts and souls and stories.

My best friend from childhood’s brother passed away yesterday. They lived across the street from us all the years I lived at home (18 years). He was a big presence. He was a state champion wrestler and a football player. Mostly I remember him as a musician. He was in a band in high school and I remember when we were young, he played everything by ear.  I can visualize him sitting down at the piano and just playing something he heard on the radio. I also remember walking into their house and hearing the drums being played in the basement.  It was loud.

We looked up to him.  He was 3 years older than us and so cool.  He didn’t care about being cool which made him that much cooler.  He was a really, really kind soul.

I had a lot of drama in high school.  Much of it created by me.  I remember him telling me one time, “Sue, you have to ignore what other people think and say.  Just be yourself.” That meant a lot to me of course because I needed to hear it. I cared (care?) too much what people think.  I want everyone to like me and it was way worse in high school.  I’m learning. But he was just himself. Always.

Yesterday when I heard he passed I cried. We hadn’t talked in years and like I say, he was my best friend’s brother so he was like a side story to my friendship with her really.  I mean, to him, I was just his little sister’s friend.  I’m sure much of the time, super annoying. What I realize now is that often it’s those people on the periphery that affect us.  God works in the margins, amen?

Also, when he was around, he became the main event.  Honestly, he had charisma and charm and talent and kindness and the coolness just oozed out of him.

I didn’t know a house filled with live music being played except for theirs until now – my husband plays the guitar and my kids have all played at one time or another.  Music is a big part of our household now.  Thinking back on this makes me realize how much we are all part of each other’s stories.  How much we can affect someone with a kind word, some music, a song. I have no doubt he affected many.

It was fitting last night that I was at the Austin City Limits Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony while they honored great songwriters and musicians.  I thought of him and his love of music. Music brings people together.  It’s a balm for weary souls.

I don’t know much about his life after high school except the updates I received from his sister.  From the outpouring yesterday, I know he had a family and friends who loved him deeply. I do know he still played and sang.  And that brings me comfort.

There are a million memories of neighborhood shenanigans but the memory that will stick with me forever happened just about a year (or two?) ago.  We were at his father’s funeral.  He went up and sang a song for his dad.  He played the guitar and sang, “Why Me Lord?”  Afterwards I went up to him to say how great it was and he was humble as ever, he said, “I hope it was what he wanted.  He asked me to sing that one for him.”

I want to share it with you. I cried like a baby.

To Dan. Thanks.

©2015 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™, All Rights Reserved

The Other Side

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

I’m grateful for grief.

I guess.

I mean, it does reveal us, right?

It’s hard though.  I guess I’d like to say I’m thankful for all of it and grief is part of it.

Honestly, maybe I’m not thankful for grief, I’m thankful for God who carries me through my grief.  I’m thankful for the “other side of grief” which is wisdom and peace.  I think.

Oh, I don’t know.  I want to be thankful for grief.  I guess I’m just thankful that we make it through it and that there is always hope.

I’m thankful for hope.

Yes, that’s it.

I’m thankful for hope.


©2013 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big YES™  All Rights Reserved            

Image and quote from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.  Possibly the BEST BOOK EVER. No joke. Run out and get it now and plan on not doing anything else for hours until you are done.  Give it to your teenagers too.  It’s SOOOOO GOOD.  The kind of book that makes you weep but you love it. You will stop reading just to really let the words you just read sink in because you can’t believe how moved you are.  This is the kind of book that changes you.  You can’t forget these characters.  So much so that we named our new dog after one of the lead characters, Augustus Waters.  You will fall in love with these people and this writer.  Go. Read it quick before the movie comes out.  The writing is Unbelievable.  No joke.  Go. Get it. Report back.


It’s Tuesday and I want to unwrap my blessings for “Tuesday’s Unwrapped”.

But first there is something weighing heavy on me.

It’s not just something, there are lots of things.  It’s loss…loss of life and loss of innocence.  It’s the heavy weight of parenting and trusting and sending them out there.  It’s the burden of knowing that our systems sometimes fail those who need the most help.  It’s the knowing we need to do better.

I hesitate to write anything about the tragedy in Connecticut.

But then I think, “How can I not?”

I don’t have any answers.  I don’t have anything profound to say.

So many people are speaking and writing and politicizing and shaking their angry fists.   I don’t want to shake an angry fist.

But then, I’m just one person and we all grieve differently.

Maybe tomorrow I will shake an angry fist.

Today, I just feel tired and weary.

Looking for comfort, I go to His word and find this.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” – Matthew 11:28

Today, I will go to Him.  I will lay my burden down.  It’s heavy.  It’s dark.  It’s scary. It’s real.  I need to lay it down.

Today, I will rest.

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

tuesdays unwrapped at cats