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How Music Can Support Your Grief-Healing Journey

If you really knew me…You’d know that I’m currently grieving the loss of a close family friend/neighbor since childhood, Bill Hennig. Bill’s family and mine were very close, and he was like an uncle to me. I was heartbroken to hear the news that he passed away unexpectedly in his home on January 15th.

Bill was a friendly, humorous, kindhearted, fun-loving and generous man, who LOVED music and was uninhibited to express his emotions through tears. I will always cherish the memories of time at his family’s beach house on Long Beach Island, NJ and his New Year’s Day birthday party each year. He had a way of bringing people together and could easily make friends with pretty much anyone.

I'm trying to be gentle with myself as I grieve this loss. However, I’ve been mindfully noticing my pattern of binge-watching TV shows just to numb myself from the grief/pain. Once I noticed this, I decided to listen to a Spotify playlist of Crosby, Stills, & Nash because I heard that David Crosby also passed away during the same week. The playlist was set to shuffle, and the first song that played was Crosby, Stills, & Nash and James Taylor singing a live version of the song, “Mexico.”

Hearing this song immediately brought me to tears, as I recollected a memory from more than a decade ago when Bill played the original James Taylor version after returning from a very fun and relaxing vacation to Mexico. It was the first time I’d heard this song, and it’s still one of my favorites for this reason. As I listened to the song in that moment, I felt the heaviness of grief as tears streamed down my face. Hearing this song was the exact moment of healing I needed for my grief-healing process.

Bill also loved the song “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum. Every time it was played, he requested that it be played/referenced at his funeral. And that it was. I love you and miss you, Bill. Until we meet again, I have faith that your soul is up there with the Spirit in the Sky. May you rest peacefully with eternal Love and Oneness.

My own grieving process is what inspires me to help adults heal and become acquainted with a new version of themselves after grief/loss. And I always include music therapy in my grief-healing work with clients. Music is essential because it helps most people feel deeper into their emotions, and this enhances their healing process.

One of my Gestalt therapy mentors, Mariah Gladis, wrote a wonderful book called Tales of a Wounded Healer. In the book, she beautifully describes her use of music in her healing/therapy work with clients:

“From a vast collection of music from every genre, I select specific pieces of music for each client with the precise purpose of matching the spirit of the moment with the mood of the music. Have you ever heard a song on the radio and found yourself dropping unexpected tears because of some emotion that was stimulated? Do you know how a certain song can trigger memories of a moment or a time in your life? Music can not only help you access aspects of yourself you may have long forgotten, it can also help you grow qualities of yourself that are not yet fully developed.”

This is how music, combined with experiential therapy, can support your grief-healing journey. I specialize in working with adults who are grieving various types of losses, including the loss of children and the ambiguous loss of relationships with others who are still living.

Please email me at to get started with your complimentary 1 Hour Clarity Call. During the Clarity Call, I will deeply listen to what’s not working so well for you and what you really want. Then, we’ll see if the healing work I do is a match for you and determine a potential next best step. You're worthy of this sacred and powerful healing work!

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