A Memorable Encounter with Music

Today, June 23, is Olivier’s birthday and a strange thing happened. Friends Ruth and Graham Bettany invited me to visit them at Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills to keep my mind off the significance of the first big “anniversaire” since his death six weeks ago.

Ruth took me to Avalon, a new purpose-built cafe in the pretty Hills village of Woodside and as we stepped into its exciting space, with its Francophilic homewares at one end at the cafe at the other – I could hear a familiar song. It was  Dance Me To The End of Love – the music by French chanteuse Madeleine Peyroux which I had chosen as background to the slide show at Olivier’s funeral.  Perhaps I am recovering somewhat from my grief, because I was filled with wonder at the “co-incidence”. Surely Madeleine is not a popular singer in Down Under music culture and yet this new cafe in such a small town was playing the tune I chose to reflect our life together.   I know people will sneer, but in my heart I know Olivier was with  me in spirit today. And my heart jumped with joy and I felt a familiar warm glow of memory, not the awesome sorrow of these past weeks.

When I think of the serendipity of my purchase of that CD a week before his death, the significance of today’s incident is heightened. I am not a music person. I have stepped into Blackwood Sound shop, probably four times in the eight years I have lived in Belair.  Yet that day I was driven to buy three CDs to bring my husband pleasure as his condition deteriorated.  On a whim, I chose Careless Love by former French street busker Madeleine Peyroux, a name I had never heard of and an inappropriate CD title for our purist love.   Yet, when I heard the first song, Dance Me To The End of Love, it so reflected our married life, how our time had been such a wonderful dance with life, that I slotted it away in my mind for when he would finally leave me.

To uplift me further, on the blackboard in the cafe was written “Reflect Upon Your Present Blessings….Of which everyone has many”.  And this is the thought I took back into the drizzly Hills day.






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