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Music with a Message Series Episode 2: Missing You Memorial Song

Grief & Loss | 0 comments


There aren’t any. Seriously. It’s vocables, sounds rooted in the Ojibwe language, Anishnabemowin. Sometimes, we don’t need words. It’s all about our intentions and our presence.

Ya way hey ya ha wayii ya

— Vocables from “Missing You Memorial Song” by Brenda MacIntyre

Every now and then I miss one or both of my parents. I lost them both when I was a teenager. I’ve gone through enough of the heavier grief over the years to be able to enjoy and appreciate the good memories, sit with the ones that weren’t so good, have a few tears every now and then, but feel like I’m not “in grief” about my parents anymore. I still miss them sometimes, but it doesn’t hurt me like it used to. With my son, it’s different. It’s been very public, with the media involved and court dates seeking justice. Losing my only son – it’s not the natural order of things, so it can mess with me sometimes. I don’t know if the grieving will ever stop. I certainly can’t imagine ever not missing my son.

Sometimes there are just no words. What really needs to be expressed is emotions, and we don’t always need words for that. Maybe it’s just tears, or your body will get you moving, or you feel it in your stomach, or some other part of your body. Maybe your body will stop you in your tracks and you can do nothing at all. In between the words we and others try to tell us lives that quiet in between place. That place of healing, of coming back to ourselves piece by piece.

TRY THIS: Put on a timer for 5 minutes. Sit where you are and just breathe and notice. Notice what comes up, without the pressure of having to change anything or judge anything. Just be with you and your breath and your thoughts and your body. Maybe look out a window or put on ocean sounds or rain or something else that feels good to hear on YouTube. Just soak up the silence, or the ocean sounds. Soak up the experience. Even if you start to feel pain, remind yourself that it’s only for a few minutes. Then give yourself some big love and appreciation.

Final thoughts: Sometimes words just get in the way. Maybe you don’t even need to read any of this. Maybe, all you need is to be with yourself and whatever wants to show up with you.

Hope this helps. Please feel welcome to share it with friends you know who are experiencing grief, trauma, loss or chronic pain.

Love & Blessings,

Brenda MacIntyre, Medicine Song Woman



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About Brenda MacIntyre

About Brenda MacIntyre

Known by her indigenous name Medicine Song Woman, Brenda MacIntyre has shared her evocative melodic voice and fusion of reggae, rap and indigenous hand drum healing music with appreciative audiences of 30 to 3,000 across North America. The Toronto-based Juno Award-winning singer has been featured nationally on MuchMusic, CTV, CP24, APTN and most recently, Global and the front page of the Toronto Star.

Powered by her grief from losing her son to murder in 2016, Brenda MacIntyre pours her soulful voice over a confluence of indigenous hand drum healing, soft rap and conscious roots reggae in her album “Picking Up the Pieces,” released in September 2019.

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