Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A message from Kate?

As I traveled through Italy last month and spent a few days in Florence, I had a couple of interesting experiences in which I felt like my kids might be communicating with me. Here's my description of one of them:

On my first night there my friend, Ken, and I were walking back to our hotel after dinner when we heard this musician performing on the street. He was playing and singing the song "Hallelujah". I'm not sure who originally recorded it, but I'm familiar with the Rufus Wainwright and Kate Voegele versions. My daughter, Kate, and I both loved this song and used to sing along in the car quite often.

So I stopped to listen...I explained to Ken that this was one of the songs Kate loved. Then I started crying. Music is one of those things that always gets me! It doesn't matter how strong I feel or how distracted - one meaningful song and I'm done.

Here's a little snippet of the song. (Sorry the audio/video quality isn't great.)

I was crying pretty hard by the end of the song. It's fabulous to sob in public, let me tell you. At least I was in another country where I don't know anyone.

So when the musician dude was finished singing "Hallelujah" he went right into "Everybody Hurts" by REM. I mean, seriously. What are the chances? "Everybody Hurts" is one of the greatest songs off all time, in my opinion, and could not have been any more descriptive of how I was feeling. And the message of "Everybody Hurts" was so fitting! If you don't know the song and don't feel like following the above link to the video, here are the lyrics:

Everybody Hurts


When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough of this life, well hang on
Don't let yourself go, 'cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it's time to sing along
When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts. Don't throw your hand. Oh, no. Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone, no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life, the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries. And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes. So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on
Everybody hurts. You are not alone

After that song the musician started singing in Italian. After all, we were in Italy. Ken looked at me and said, "I think Kate's trying to tell you something." I think he was right.


  1. Amy thanks for sharing this!

    I love the song too... and of course Kate was trying to tell you something...this is how it works...they use what they can and is available at the time to bring the message to you..to ease your heavy heart..... Someone is holding your hand..stay aware..
    Keeping you in my thoughts dear Amy...
    God Bless...


  2. Wow! Just wow! What an incredible experience for you. I'm so glad that you have them - that you're open to having them. Your children are still very much with you.
    I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now (after finding it on That's Church) and I always end up in tears. My husband asked me why I read it when it just makes me so incredibly sad. I explained that all I'm doing is reading it - you're living it. You don't have a choice. And I'm learning so much from you. I'm learning how to be a good mom (even though I don't have kids yet), how to move on after a horrible tragedy, how to put things into prespective, and how count my blessings no matter what the circumstances. Today was the first time I didn't cry reading your blog. I am so happy for you, that you had this experience. Thank you so much for sharing your moment with your daughter.

  3. These things happen for a reason. There are no real coincidences. The songs were meant for you. I'm wondering if the musician felt anything at the moment too. I'm guessing yes - will write it off as one of those things he can't put his finger on :-).

    Thanks for sharing your special Kate moment with us.

    I, too, think Everybody Hurts is one of the best songs ever (just LOVE REM - Michael Stipe's voice). Spike Jonze directed the video way back in the day.... and it is just the most unusual, but familiar and, therefore, poignant little snippet... You never know what the person right next to you is going through, has been through, etc.

  4. I've been following for a while, and continue to be utterly inspired by these stories. Simply put, I too believe. Another one? My 6-year-old son. He is submitting ideas for the beneficiaries of his class's book sale, and I suggested the Memorial Playground fund and told him about Kate & Peter. (He is a child of divorce too, so he understood the concept of being away from mom.) When I talked with him about what you were experiencing (largely in part because I don't want him to be scared of death), I swear, he said with all definitiveness of a 6-year-old: "Oh, they can see her, mom. Us kids can do all kinds of stuff for our moms that you don't even know about. I'll check and ask them later to be sure it's them." Now, obviously, my son never met your kids, and I suspect he doesn't have super powers, but at least I started the day with this beautiful idea that kids really are looking out for their moms (and dads, I'm sure) and have this amazing little network of their own. Just thought I'd share.

  5. Such a beautiful story Amy. These things do happen for a reason and I absolutely believe that your two amazing children are with you and sending messages to let you know they are OK. Keep your mind, your heart and your eyes open...they will continue to delight, enlighten, inspire and touch your heart. And I do agree with our fearless "leader" Ginny (aka Pitt Girl) -- you SOOOOOO have a book in you. Write it. You have so much to share.

  6. Thinking of you. By the way - your children are just beautiful, inside and out. I wish I could have had the honor of knowing them. In a weird, roundabout way, you are very very blessed, Amy. I'm sorry that you are forced to compete with such grief. Love and prayers.

  7. They are with you.


  8. Another great post Amy!


  9. Believe me, it will happen all the time.

    You'll cry,but eventually that song will put a smile on your face.

    Same thing happened to me when I heard the song below.


    The story is too long to tell here, but believe me, I was driving and had to pull the car over.

    Turns out Eva Cassidy helped me through my husband's untimely death.
    Look up "I know you by heart"
    So many of her songs just spoke right to my heart.

    My heart goes out to you.

  10. Hi,

    Leonard Cohen wrote and originally recorded this song. It's a beautiful piece of music.



  11. Just wanted you to know that you continue to be in unknown friends' thoughts and prayers this season. Stregnth and peace.

  12. Such unimaginable pain and sorrow. I read your blog tonight for the first time and I cried along--could barely continue but I hope and pray that you find the strength to get through this all. All children should be as cherished and loved as yours.

  13. a mutual FB friend posted a news story about your blog tonight. I have been unable to comprehend how you or your ex husband find the strength each day. You are both touching people in ways youll never know and thank you for sharing your kids with so many. I love this story about the song.....may you continue to find peace in the New Year.