Love Can Build a Bridge
By: Faith Pearce
(3 min read)
This week I heard the sad news that country singer Naomi Judd had passed. I am a huge Dolly Parton fan and remember seeing her Live in Cardiff 11 years ago. Wow, she was incredible.
I wasn’t sure who Naomi was. I rarely remember artists’ names, but I always remember the tunes. I felt pulled to find out more. When I read her story, I was saddened at the loss of such a great talent. To hear of her mental health struggles tore at my heart. I have always been an advocate of mental health. I believe it is time to normalize that “it is ok to not be ok” and to encourage people to reach out. Over the years, we have improved with addressing this health epidemic, but there are times when mental health is still taboo, not accepted, or misunderstood.
Since Robin Williams’ passing, I have read poems of support that have brought me to tears. Any unexpected passing is a shock and makes me think about my own mortality. But I didn’t want this to be just another blog about mental health as many other writers have given justice to this subject. I wanted to focus more on the artist – Naomi Judd.
In Dolly Parton’s tribute to Naomi, she mentioned they were the same age. As a country fan, I became curious as to songs she had sung. Pulling up the Judd’s hits, I was struck by the last song they performed together. Something magical happened. Listening to Love Can Build a Bridge, the tears ran down my cheeks. I was filled with love. I was transported back to a time I had long forgotten. Back in secondary school, Life was good. I was organized, and on top of all my work. I had a great group of friends, and we are preparing for one of the school performances. As a Catholic school, we sang a lot of Jesus belters as part of the choir. We had an excellent music teacher who also let us sing mainstream songs. I was an alto, and I love harmonic sounds. The last song I remember learning was Love Can Build a Bridge. I was unable to perform the song as my father died shortly afterwards, and I was absent from school. Soon after I stopped singing in the choir.
Where am I going with this other down memory lane? I had forgotten how powerful music is and how it connects us. For someone like me who spends 100% of their time in their head, it can feel strange to feel such a strong connection. It is an overwhelming urge. I get queasy, and I want to puke. My left-brain screams at my emotions, “Isn’t there a To Do list you can tackle or a new Excel spreadsheet you can create?”
But as I watched Naomi and her daughter sing together, I witnessed the strong love and bond between them. It really was beautiful to witness. All forms of love are formed through connections – no matter what your love language is. Our similarities connect us; our differences connect us.
Often when we experience trauma, it becomes easier to filter out the happy memories and pretend they no longer exist. It is a natural coping mechanism for most. But by filtering them out, we lose part of ourselves in the process.
Death isn’t the end. It is just a change, and the happy memories can never be lost.
Our focus and memory recall is a choice. I am so grateful for the beautiful gift Naomi and Wynona gave this world through their music. Their powerful connection allowed me to witness their love and reconnect to the love within myself.
We forget how we all impact each other. If today you could share one positive thing you are grateful for, what would it be? Who would you share it with? You never know the difference you could make. I am so grateful for all the connections that fill my heart with love.
Love Can Build a Bridge, don’t you think it’s time, don’t you think it’s time?