Grief and Performance Anxiety
Looking for some wisdom here. My "little" brother passed away two months ago. I'm definitely not over the shock of it and there's a busy performance weekend this weekend in my community orchestra. I'm in the first stand, so I have some significant duet parts with the concertmaster. At first I thought going to rehearsals and such would help me have something to focus on and the music would help me heal and it would all be a positive thing, but I'm remembering I typically have a bit of performance anxiety and sometimes the worst part is having the blues after a performance. I've been noticing a pattern of letting some of my worst emotions out on the weekends because I can, but this weekend would be one where I'd have to work very hard to pull myself together. Has anyone else experienced this sort of conundrum or have some wisdom they could share with me regarding whether I should play this weekend or even for like half of the season (I'm not feeling like my heart will be very much into Christmas music this year). Uff da.
Let me add that I've enjoyed the social aspect of going to rehearsals, but now I feel like it's a choice between healing well or letting people down. It really should seem like a no-brainer, but I would really welcome some insight or personal stories.
I am so sorry for what happened to you! I can only tell you, that when my mother was in chemotherapy and in very bad condition it helped me to have something to do other than helping her to get from point A to B and cooking and watching for her after a session.
Jenny, my condolences on your loss. Please read this book:
Thank you all for your gracious responses. It really means a lot to have insight from others. <3
I don't know what's best for you, but have the following to mention -- loss isn't something you have a time limit on, so you can't plan on stopping living until the time has expired and then do everything you should/want to, and music is a great outlet for emotion when played. If you play something sad when you're sad, you won't necessarily be sadder, as you'll have expressed that.
Jenny, you have gotten some helpful responses above. I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss.
Same from me. My heart goes out to you.
Honestly, you probably need to take a break. I fear that the responsibility might prevent you from properly grieving, as much as a part of you wants a distraction from the pain. Later on, you can get back into it, but for the right reasons. Music is a luxury, but grieving is not.
Jenny, I am so sorry for your grief. My experience is one I hope no one shares, bit for what itvs worth...
Jenny, I'm not an expert in the grieving process, and I don't really think there is a correct way to do it, but you might look around for some counseling services, which can be free or low-cost if you look in places like universities.
I haven't really experienced a close loss yet, even though I'm in my 50s. But I can see them coming on the horizon. So I'm grateful to listen to all of this insight coming from so many warm souls.
I greatly appreciate all your perspectives. It's good to have affirmation on either side of such a decision. I've decided to try to rejoin the orchestra for the second half of the season and focus on teaching my students and arranging things for a recording project I get to be in this summer. Probably get a bit of professional help, too, besides my support group. Thank you.
A close loss is a reminder that we're all human beings here. One discovers what really counts in life, and in the long term, it is beneficial to know because it helps us become better people.