Jun 03, 2021

By Christine Ross

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Listen to Christine’s report here

The stress and heartbreak from the death of a loved one have been amplified during the pandemic. In fact, the International Red Cross says the mental toll of not being able to say goodbye in a traditional way will last a long time. But one Toronto woman found a unique way to celebrate her late Mom.
Kat Lenteigne and her Mother Lorraine

“There’s really something very specific to the healing power of music,” says Kat Lenteigne. Her 70-year-old Mother died last November in Nicaragua where her parents settled in retirement. Lorraine Joy Anderson had diabetes and heart complications but couldn’t get the care she needed because hospitals were overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.

“So I just slowly watched my Mom dissipate in front of me and that was really difficult even though we spoke every day.”

Stuck in her grief, and miles away from her late Mom, the public health advocate and writer commissioned two musicians, Joel Schwartz and Brian MacMillan to write a song about her late Mom to help honour her legacy and bring peace to those who knew her.

“When the song arrived, I play it and played it and played it and we were blown away because it was so deeply moving and I was amazed by the artistic quality that these two artists were able to capture, the story of me and my Mom and my family but also something that was really universal.”

But one line jumped out.

“The most moving part of the song for us was when the lyrics say I’m still here, show your boy how to love through all his fears.”

Lorraine Joy Anderson and her grandson

Kat says it’s really not just her story, this is for everybody who’s lost someone during this time or who’s lost a parent.

To hear the song, check out Joel and Brian’s website

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