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Grief and the Guitar in Valencia

Today Dad would have turned 72 years old. I miss him so very much.

Dad taught me to play guitar before I went to college. I played piano for about a decade first, so it actually wasn’t too difficult to pick up. Guitar was one of Dad’s lifelong passions; he practiced and played every day. And he was really, really talented. Everyone in his life loved to hear him play guitar and sing, especially at family gatherings and for the Jewish holidays.

I’d been thinking about getting a used guitar in Valencia for awhile. I went by a few stores and found a decent secondhand guitar for my size. The guy who sold it to me was named, of all things, David. He said he played guitar himself and gave me a pick from his pocket to take home. I don’t believe in signs really, but this felt comforting somehow.

I biked home with the guitar on my back on a beautiful fall day and listened to some country and bluegrass music (Dad’s favorite). For the first time in a long time, I looked forward to playing this instrument again; after he died, for awhile I couldn’t pick up a guitar without crying and feeling such intense pain, sorrow, and grief.

Now, I try to focus on the memories of playing guitar and singing with Dad, and passing on the love of guitar and music to Jacob, who recently started taking ukelele lessons in Spanish.

For a compilation of resources which have been helpful to me and many others while navigating the lifelong, dynamic, and evolving process of grief, please visit the Resources page on the blog.