Staff Opinion: How music helped me heal

By Carlos Fuentes | April 10, 2019 7:47pm

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Beacon reporter Carlos Fuentes shares how music helped him heal after loss.
by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Music has been through it all with me. It has been there at the best moments of my life, and has supported me through all of the lows. I’m not here just to tell you why you should listen to more music, but hopefully to inspire you.

Back in elementary school, all I knew about music was that for some reason, my sister Alex seemed to enjoy listening to it on the radio all the time. It seemed like a weird thing to like, and I didn’t see what the point of it was. 

In middle school, I started forming a special bond with music. I began playing instruments and I started listening to artists that I would find on YouTube. My music taste at that point was probably around 70 percent Eminem, but that was okay with me. Alex and I would often stay up late into the night, discussing our favorite songs and artists. While driving to school every morning, we would sing along to Today’s Pop Hits and we would always take the long way. 

Around my junior year of high school, I began listening to music constantly. I would listen in the car on the way to school. I would listen to it walking between classes. And I would often fall asleep with headphones on. Alex and I would text each other our newly discovered favorite songs.  I had playlists for working out, studying, late-night studying, long drives, you name it. Fast forward to my arrival at the University of Portland. Life was good, everything was good. I was happy. 

One week before my first finals week of college, Alex passed away. 

I entered a cold place. I felt alone, isolated, cut off from others and the world around me. And the only thing that kept me sane through it all was music. The only thing that I could count on was music. And throughout the last four months, music has been my best friend. More than that, it has helped shape my personality and outlook on life. 

Music has taken me to places in my mind I didn’t know existed. It has given me the words that I need when I have felt voiceless. It has stopped me from feeling lonely when I’m alone. And most of all, I have seen it heal. 

I have felt the power of music. Have you? 

Carlos Fuentes is a reporter for the Beacon. He can be reached at fuentes22@up.edu

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