Last year I wrote a song called Angel At My Keyboard, written about and for the daughter I never had. It tells the story of a little girl who learns to play the keyboard, and I teach her. Music becomes something we share. It’s total fantasy, of course, like most of our hopes and dreams for children.
This week the song became a reality.
I want to share this with you, the music and the breath, the joy and the pain, the beauty and lament of childlessness. I want you to know that if you have ever felt this way, you are not alone. If you have ever had a wobble like me, grieving for a little person you never met, you are not alone.
If you have ever felt this way, you are not alone.
The Angel in this song represents our children-to-be, all they could have been and all we could have shared with them. I hope somewhere in this song you find resonance with your own child-dreams, even if the nature of your dream was a little different to mine.
I dreamed about a daughter who was a musician. Perhaps you dreamed of a son whom you would teach to play football. Perhaps you dreamed of a teenager taking their first steps into the larger world. Perhaps you dreamed of grandchildren. I hope you find a hint of your dream in this song.
I hope you find a hint of your dream in this song.
There is no happy ending in these words, no magical answer, no rainbow baby. Because this is our reality. Our lives have no happy ending, and there is no miracle cure for our grief. The only way to heal grief is to feel it. The only way out is through.
That is what Angel at my Keyboard is about. It takes us on the rollercoaster ride of grief. It soars the heights of hope and plunges into the depths of loss and heartache. It cries out for my daughter whom I never met, never even conceived, and for all our lost children. It is bare-faced lament.
May it honour the memories and the love in our hearts.
Look after yourself while listening to this song. May it hold the grief we share, just for now, just for a little while. May it honour the memories of the children we wanted but could never have. May it honour the love in our hearts, the love we wanted to give to our angels.
Did you have dreams for your children-to-be? What did you hope to share with them? What did you hope they would become? How do you express that grief—perhaps through music or another creative outlet? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation.