Love, Music, Gratitude, Grief and Forgiveness

Last night, we went to Middlebury to see a local band, Hamjob, perform. Now, if you follow my social media fairly regularly, I post about them a fair amount, because they write a song about Sam, aptly entitled, “Sam’s Song.” We’ve listened to the song a lot, but missed the official launch party for their first studio album, because I had a book event. Last night was going to be the first time we’d seen the band perform, and therefore, the first time we’d seen the song performed in person.

The lead singer of the band is someone we’ve known a long time. He was friends with Sam in high school, and they shared an apartment the year prior to Sam’s death. But this was the first time we’d seen him in person for a long time.

So, leaving the house to go see them perform last night, about the same time we would normally be getting ready to call it a day, we were a bit emotionally charged. Not nervous, but churning in our own emotions. We were meeting one of our sons, and three good friends there, and we were so glad for the company.

We got there, and got to spend a few minutes before the band played visiting with that lead singer, and then with his bass player, who we’d gotten to know via social media. Then we hung out, listened to great music, waiting to hear “the song,” and in my heart, I wasn’t sure how I would react. Suddenly, we realized that one of Sam’s good friend, one of the ones involved in the great sheep trip, was there. We hadn’t seen him in years! Hugs, a few tears, just the joy of holding the hands of this wonderful young man for a moment was such a joy.

Then the song started. And while the band played this fabulous song, which so many there clearly knew, I realized that Sam’s spirit had made its appearance again. In that room were people who had falling-outs, all of whom love Sam, and (thankfully!) love us — and they were all there, and as that song played, there were hugs, tears, more hugs, and it was as if those angers and hurt feelings disappeared. As that song played, many of the people Sam cared (and cares) about most were in that room, and they were together, and the love he shared so broadly was clearly in view.

The night was perfect. Great music, love, laughter, shared grief, shared gratitude for the community Sam gave through his friendships.

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