Music has truly been therapy for my heart and soul over the last 22 months.  Seth and I loved listening to music together.  It started from the first time we met to our final days together.  We would always have music playing in the house, in the car, and before we would fall asleep at night. We loved going to concerts and loved when we would go out to dinner and find a live band playing in the bar.

When he died suddenly, I remember thinking immediately that I would never discover any great new music again.  Would never go to a concert or enjoy music the same way. It instantly felt like that part of my life had suddenly died along with him.

The first moment I knew music would help me heal was at the funeral home as we made arrangements for his service.  I was told I could give them a playlist of songs to play during the visitation. For some reason that surprised me. It sounded like the most amazing gift to be able to play music as a way to pay tribute to Seth and our life together.

I remember coming home from the funeral home and the first thing I did was start my song list for the visitation.  I dove into this task, and spent hours listening to our favorite songs. I was determined to make a playlist that would make him proud.  I couldn’t believe it when I had compiled a 2 ½ hour playlist of just a sampling of songs we loved. Songs that brought comfort, laughs, smiles, tears, and great memories.

I knew then that music would always find a way to keep me connected to the beautiful soul I had just lost. And would continue to provide so much comfort. In fact, since Seth passed, I feel strongly he sends me messages through music.

In the car on the way to his funeral, I said to the kids, “OK, guys, let’s listen to one of Daddy’s favorite songs” and we did.  All three of us sang our hearts out the whole way to the funeral home.

The first time I went grocery shopping without him (which seemed like a monumentally emotional task) one of his very favorite songs was playing as I walked in, and I thought, “OK, buddy, I hear it, you’re here with me…let’s do this.”

On our first road trip as a family of three, a recent favorite song of Seth’s came on the radio as we started our journey. My son excitedly said, “Daddy loved this song!” And I knew he was with us and that we were going to be OK.

The first time I drove Seth’s car I said out loud, “OK sweetie, here we go…” and the first song that came on the radio was “She Talks to Angels” by the Black Crows. I cried and sang along and thanked him for sending me that song.  And promised him I’d always talk to him.

After a bad day, I’ll turn the dial on the car radio and hear his favorite band, or a song that has a strong memory attached to it, or a song we loved that I haven’t heard for years. I’ll look up, say, “Love you too, sweetie” and sing my heart out. And feel comforted knowing somehow he’s telling me he’s with me and I’m going to be OK.

I’ve even had moments when a song will come on the radio and my son will say, “Daddy used to play this song loud in the car.” It’s been a great way to keep their memories alive and has given me insight into the special memories they had when they were alone with their Dad.

As I sit to write this blog post now, his favorite songs keep coming on as I play our music collection on shuffle. And I find myself pausing, smiling, wiping away tears, and reliving the memories the songs evoke. It has reinforced that the power of music can help to heal my broken heart.

Seth has continued to send me new music that I’ve randomly (or not so randomly) discovered and has made me think of him.  And I’m proud of the fact that I made it to my first concert without him and my first concert alone. Something I thought would never happen again. And I’m so thankful that there are new special people in my life helping me to discover new music and showing me how the power of music can continue to heal.

As I find myself absorbed in music, I can’t help but remember what my dear Aunt, who also became a young widow, told me after Seth passed.  She said that I will now have three versions of myself.  One from before I met Seth, one while I was with him and one of who I will become after him.

As I listen to the songs that we discovered together and played over and over, I cherish that version of who I was when I was with him, and the beautiful memories they bring. I also cherish the person I was before I met him at the young age of 18. Both versions of me have beautiful soundtracks that I will always hold close to my heart.

Now as I look to who I am starting to become, I smile because I am continuing to discover new music, and rediscover old music that feels new to me. And I realize I am creating a soundtrack of the new version of myself I’m becoming.

So if music has impacted your life, take some time to play music that reminds you of your dear husband.  Let yourself cry, laugh and get lost in the beautiful memories you shared together.  Take some time to discover some new music. Let the songs inspire you to think about who you will become in this next phase of your life.

Because our husbands want nothing more than for us to live, to be happy, to have hope, and to enjoy what is next to come.


Dena's life was forever changed on June 25, 2018, when she became suddenly redefined as a widow. A title she never thought she would have, or not have for at least another 40 years or more. Her healthy 43-year-old
husband suddenly and unexpectedly passed away, leaving her shocked, heart shattered and left, at age 41, to raise their precious 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter without him. Since gaining this new title, she is continually trying to figure out how to live this new life, and have
leaned into her faith, has focused on being brave, and has taken head on all of the challenges she is now faced with in this new life. Dena is here to share her story as she is living it and to be honest and raw, providing insight into the life of a sudden widow with a full-time career and two young children. Dena learned the importance of what she has gained through living a life well lived with her beloved spouse, and she has been writing what is on her mind and in her heart, everything from the pain of losing a spouse suddenly, to focusing on gratefulness and being brave in this journey. She hopes to give others insight into what this journey looks like and provide thoughts on how she is managing through it all. And hopefully inspire some of her hope sister's along the way.

You can read more and follow me on Instagram @suddenlyredefined or on her Facebook page Suddenly Redefined.