Today marks another heavy loss for music, and my life, due to COVID-19. The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square announced it has cancelled all rehearsals and concerts for 2020. There will continue to be programs shown each Sunday for the weekly broadcast compiled from pre-recorded performances, and the Christmas PBS special will be shown from its taping in 2019. But, my Choir family and I will not be returning to Temple Square this year.
The reason is painfully obvious: Our pattern of pandemic privation persists.Tadd Walch, Deseret News
The sound of silence in my soul is deafening.
Yes, even though:
- I have felt for many weeks this was inevitable.
- The Choir organization told us privately in advance the announcement was coming.
- I am so grateful for wise leadership that heed the scientific research and advice of medical experts.
- People throughout the world will still get to hear me singing praise from my past 12 years of service thanks to the miracle of recordings, social media and global satellite.
- I understand this is the reality of our current “moment”
Despite all of that … I felt a painful fracture inside my heart at the news.
It has been five months since rehearsals were suspended in mid-March. That’s a very long time to not be singing with my friends and fulfilling my musical mission. And now, it will be at least another 4 or 5 months …
This pandemic has stolen so much away from every one of us in so many ways; individually, as families, as a community, and as a world. I believe the ripple effect of our loss will be endless, and never fully calculated.
It is hard to imagine that something made of particles too small for the human eye can come as a thief in the night with the power to destroy routines, expectations, goals, dreams and life.
It has stolen our celebrations, social gatherings, and travel. It has robbed us of making music and dance shoulder-to-shoulder, worshiping side-by-side, cheering together for sporting events and concerts. It has silenced the stage, and darkened our theaters. It has made mausoleums of museums. It has halted education, and disrupted some of the most important days of our lives from first days, birthdays, graduation days, wedding days, and dying days. It has even robbed us of the simple human gift to comfort one another with the squeeze of a hand, a hug, a kiss, or a shoulder to literally cry on.
For many, the virus has taken employment and income, creating the loss of housing, food, medication and security. It has interrupted or prevented dating, courtship and marriage. Worst of all, this invisible intruder has the unflinching power to destroy health, and even to take the very lives of those we love.
I know that there will come a day – someday in the future – when we will gather together and look back on this time in history. We will cuddle up with our grandchildren to tell them our stories about what we lost, what we learned, and how we coped. On that day we will have the gift of perspective, and the blessing of time to have healed.
But, that day isn’t now.
For today, I am allowing myself to grieve.
Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. Though we often expect to grieve the death of a family member or friend, many other significant losses can also trigger grief.
No two people are likely to experience grief in the same way. The way we think and feel, the way our body functions, and the way we interact with others may all be affected.
No matter what our intense experiences of grief may be, they are temporary . There is life after grief—if we acknowledge and work through our reactions, rather than trying to stop them.
Grieving is not forgetting. Healthy grieving results in an ability to remember the importance of our loss — but with a newfound sense of peace, rather than searing pain.Excerpts from Healthy Grieving, Washington University
The Echo In My Soul
The pandemic may take away or hide many things from us right now – but it cannot ever take the things that make us who we are – the things we hold in our heart and make our soul unique, and everlasting. All of our love, all of our hope, our gifts, our joys, our personality and spark of the Divine are here, inside, safe and secure. Everlasting. And the music? Oh yes! I can still feel it flowing through my veins and echoing in my soul. As the composer and American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry so beautifully penned to music:
“Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing. It finds an echo in my soul – How can I keep from singing? … No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that refuge clinging. Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?”
Nothing is “fine” right now. It’s okay to feel that way, and actually really healthy to say it out loud. We are trying our best during unimaginable circumstances. So, if you are grieving your own loss today, I am truly sorry I cannot give you a hug. But, I will mourn with you.
Stay safe, be well and let’s hold on for another day. – Love, Holly