Loss is strange. It affects us all in different ways and, often, in ways we don’t expect. For me, one of the most difficult things to deal with is the way that the memory of a person can change or fade as time goes on. Obviously, you can remember a person through pictures or videos but it’s the other memories, the ones that you close your eyes to recall, that can’t be preserved outside of your mind’s eye. Things like the way a person smelled, the true sound of their voice, a certain twinkle in a person’s eye, a funny quirk or habit. The intimate details that picture or video can’t capture, the things that are unique to the way that YOU remember someone. Those are the things that tend to slip away and I’ve found that a sense of guilt has often accompanied the fading memories. Especially when they’re associated with the people that are the MOST important to me…people like my mother or Maura.
Several years ago I had a dream that changed the way I view loss. I walked into the dining room at our home in Hanson and sitting at the table were Maura and our mother. I had experienced similar dreams prior, but there was something noticeably different about this. This dream was much more vivid and the little details that I thought had been lost, the source of my guilt, were very present. What shocked me the most were their voices. I could hear them, really HEAR them, exactly as I knew they should sound. They looked and moved exactly how I knew they should and, although there was nothing profound about what was happening, the clarity of what I was experiencing was overwhelming. I woke up that morning with tears on my face and pillow because, by the end of the dream, I was begging them to stay. I had become consciously aware that I was dreaming and I wasn’t ready to wake up or to let them go. The whole thing changed me because, once the initial shock wore off, the realization that Maura and our mother still exist somewhere deep in my memory gave me great comfort. It proved that they would never truly be lost.
I recently wrote a song about the dream because music and writing are two of the most powerful ways that I’ve used to cope with life’s adversities. My mother absolutely loved that I had a modicum of musical talent and Maura was one of my biggest supporters when I first picked up the guitar. While I haven’t finished the music, I wanted to share the lyrics as I think that my experience is very relatable and, while it’s deeply personal to me, to share some of who I am with this community. You’ve all given so much to our family so I wanted to give you a more personal view into me and some of what I do to cope with Maura’s loss.
‘Stay’ - written by Kurtis Murray
I walk into the room and you’re standing there
But I can see that something’s different
So I stop and stare
It’s So hauntingly familiar and it seems to me
I’ve found the memory I’ve been searching for
But, so often, fail to see
So I ask, Is this real?
Could this be real?
Not sure how I’m supposed to feel
When you talk, my heart is racing
I hear your voice, for once it’s full and clear
Not just a memory left to disappear
And your smile, so full and bright
No longer hazy and distorted
An image lost to memory’s fading light
So I ask, Is this real?
Could this be real?
The only thing I want becoming clear
Stay, Won’t you stay?
Oh God, please stay
I lose more of you now everyday
Why can’t you stay
I wish you’d stay
I Can’t bear to feel you fade away
I’m desperate now, I’m on my knees
I know that time is short, it’s just a dream
But in this moment you’re something more to me
Than just a distant fading memory
I’m lying here, I’m in my bed
A million memories running through my head
But the reminder that’s been given me
Is in my heart, my soul, my blood is…
Where you’ll stay
11/17/2021 01:10:00 pm
11/17/2021 01:31:23 pm
This captures loss in such a viseral way. I had a lump in my throat reading your post. It is something that all us human beings can relate to sadly.. The loss of someone so part of us that it is hard to breathe. It is amazing how they stay with us, despite not physically. Their handprints all over our lives. Both your Mother and Maura can never fully leave you in reality, as you discovered. They are a part of you that will always be with you. I can imagine how proud they must be of you. Take care, Sarah (Ireland)
DIANE EDWARDS ANGER
11/17/2021 02:07:15 pm
Kurtis, thank you. Thank you for sharing, because this lifts the lid on the hidden corners, the gaps, the spaces between here and there. Lifting the veil, but for a moment in time, but yet forever. To know that they will always be there, be here with you. No matter what.
11/17/2021 02:08:37 pm
If I could do one thing in this world I would reveal the locations of every missing person in the world because there has to be nothing worse then not knowing…I’m so sorry u all are going through this for all these years…I hope and pray u find her 💔
11/17/2021 02:29:50 pm
This is beautiful and truly from the heart
Linda Murray LoPorto
11/17/2021 03:47:41 pm
That was so beautiful. Thank you for the lyrics, direct from the heart. So vivid, so powerful. My heart aches. Praying, hoping Maura is found. Love ❤️ to you all, Fred’s cousin Linda
11/17/2021 06:29:23 pm
Wow! Both the blog and the lyrics are exactly how I’ve felt so much of my life. Thank you for sharing your gift with us. True talent!
11/17/2021 06:49:05 pm
Kurtis, You have a God Given Talent. You are such a Wonderful Person. I pray that soon Everyone working Together can bring Maura Home. I Never Met Maura but I know She’s A Great Person , so very Missed. Thank you for Sharing your Beautiful Memories and Music.💙
11/17/2021 08:45:09 pm
You definitely have a way with words Kurtis, which I could see in the very first thank you message you ever posted. Your music is equally as wonderful and you are so very talented. I can’t wait to hear you sing and play this song, once you get the music arranged for it. I know it will be amazing and I know that your mom and Maura are so very proud of the talented, and wonderful, young man that you have grown to be.
11/19/2021 10:08:48 pm
Dear Kurtis~~your poem, music, deepest Love for Maura truly ' Shines forth', in such a magnitude! You shared beautiful memories together ,Kurtis . Maura & you shared Very Special , funtimes nobody else would know.Your feeling's expressed , so genuine + touching from your heart she IS Cherished, adored, loved by thousands! I am one of them.My heart adopted her, instantly.Maura is a rare, precious gemstone, Forever in our Hearts .Kurtis, you are her Wonderful , caring brother , who holds her torch SO High , and she knows... God Bless you + family Such a meaningful poem.🙏🌺🙏🌺🌹🌹🌹🌹💜💜
12/14/2021 05:01:33 am
12/24/2021 12:05:53 am
Very well done. Songs aren't easy to write, I tried and continue trying to finish it. I promised my wife so I have to stay with it. God Bless the family.
1/9/2022 05:58:16 pm
I had a lump in my throat reading your lyrics.. I don’t think I’ve ever read something that has described a feeling so well. I think everyone has experienced some kind of loss in their lives and can somewhat understand that feeling in your lyrics. You have such a special gift.
2/28/2022 07:26:01 pm
This is so beautiful Julie. Even though a dream, I'm glad you were able to experience this and put it to music. I believe dreams can connect us to our loved ones. Hold on to this memory. It will give you peace. Maura will not be forgotten. ❤
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