Sing when you're happy, sing when you're sad
Amy Stanley
October 13, 2023

We are so privileged to have helped many members get through some of the hardest moments of their lives. It's an honour we don't take lightly and why our belief in singing in a choir is so strong.

One of our members, Safina, has been open enough to share her story about her precious Joe. Read about her journey, along with the beautiful poem she has written which was inspired by one of the songs we sing, below.

'I used to be a reasonably organised person with not particularly interesting routines surrounding household chores. Wednesday tended to be my day for hoovering which I would do whilst listening to music through my headphones & singing. It became a standing joke that my 3 children would avoid being around so as not to suffer the noise of the hoover along with my singing.

On the 22nd September 2019 we suddenly & unexpectedly lost our Joe three days after his 23rd birthday. Our lives became unrecognisable.

Having never done so before I started writing poetry. I would also walk for miles listening to music through my headphones but not singing...I felt too sad to sing & could hardly speak in the early days which I am sure is something that any bereaved parent or sibling can resonate with. Poetry & music became & remains my salvation.

In September last year I joined a local choir, The London Soul Choir, along with my daughter Annie. My friend Alison had suggested I join the choir some time ago, but I didn’t have the courage to do so. I came away from the first choir session feeling really uplifted. Everyone was so friendly & welcoming.

Even though it takes me out of my comfort zone singing has helped me to realise that it is possible to have fun. I often rehearse in Joe’s room & find it comforting. One of the songs we sang last year was ‘Change The World’ by Eric Clapton & it inspired me to write a poem which I called ‘Sunlight In My Universe’. It seemed significant as Eric Clapton is also a bereaved parent.

It is now coming to the end of my second term. During this time, not only have I had fun, I have made new friends learnt new songs, sung in public performances, auditioned & been selected to sing in a smaller chamber choir. To quote our choir leader Abi ‘singing can be healing, sing when you are happy sing when you are sad’.

My heart breaks every day without our Joe. The loss & devastation will be with our family always & forever. The grief journey is never ending. I have found singing with other people to be cathartic & would recommend it. ‘What is the worst that can happen?’ is something that I frequently say, so what if you forget a word or don’t quite reach a high note. It is worth giving it a go, if I can anyone can & singing is certainly good for the soul. If I ever learn how to write music, I might even turn one of my poems into a song.....

Sunlight In My Universe

I thought I saw you

In the distance today

Your face in the crowd

Then you drifted away

I thought I heard you

Speaking to me today

Your voice clear and loud

Then it drifted away

I sit in your room

With four walls and a ceiling

The plaster is cracked

The paint now is peeling

It’s not just a room

It’s a room that is yours

Your books on the shelf

Folded clothes in the drawers

I borrow some words

Of a Clapton song verse

You are the sunlight

In my universe

Could I reach the stars

Find you there to see

Could I change the world

Bring you back to me

I know I see you

Shining brightly today

The strength of your light

Sends my darkness away

Safina Powell

April 2023'

Stories like Safina's will always be our driving force and we're so grateful to her, and others, who allow us to accompany them on their quest for mental well-being and healing.

Thank you.

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