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Losstending

by Paula Eve Kirman

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1.
This is who I am, the woman I've become I'd say that I am happy; I'm good and kind and fun but I grew up not knowing where I'm really from and now that I look back, I see how far I've come I've gotten in some trouble, but I've made many friends some of them are with me, some have met their ends I see them in the shadows, I hear them in the wind and when it's time to cross that bridge we'll reunite again I like to sing and dance and play my favourite songs and plan for the day when I will be gone a stage with lights and music they'll put my casket on While everyone shares laughter and parties all night long From dust I was born, to dust I will return I want to be remembered not for riches that I've earned but the love I have given, and the truths that I've learned I've tried to pass this wisdom to all who are concerned This is who I am, the woman I've become I'm finally happy, more than when I was young I still have lots of living before my days are done I'll bloom like a garden, then I'll set like the sun Yes, I'll bloom like a garden, then I'll set like the sun
2.
Alone in the woods, where I went a'walking I heard a voice calling my name When I looked up, there was my old friend My eyes filled with tears that fell down like rain He gave me his handkerchief so I could see through the the sorrow that's been blinding me This wilderness haunts me, I'm lost in my mind I want my children beside me while there's still time I used to sing my grandma to sleep in the language I spoke as a child Then they took me away, I tried to resist stood up for myself; they said I was wild They whipped and they beat me 'til I learned to forget and I still can't remember most of those words yet but I picture my grandma with her cigarette the harder I try, the closer I get I have to thank you, my long-lost friend For hearing my story and drying my tears But even now I still feel the pain I've held inside all of these years But I hope that my grandkids are strong and proud and can have all the freedom I wasn't allowed and they and my children will know who they are and just like my grandma I'll never be far I'll be in the moon, and I'll be in the stars
3.
Once I lived with Nature Closer to the land Why I was torn away I still don't understand Now I'm in the city thankful to be alive Through broken bones and bruises Trying to survive Chorus: I wish that I Could close my eyes And find myself back home Those who've gone To me live on I am never alone Father in Heaven in Your name I pray Send help to all who need You Now and every day I know you hear my pleading I'm trying to be true Even though I'm hurting I find my strength in You Chorus Bridge: Sometimes people tell me They're surprised I am still here I guess that there's a reason I haven't disappeared Chorus twice I am never alone I am never alone

about

During March and April of 2021, I took part in "Soloss," a community care network developed through a partnership between REACH Edmonton, InWithForward (a Vancouver social design agency), and the City of Edmonton's RECOVER Wellbeing initiative. The team was prototyping the "Losstender" position in Edmonton, based on ethnographic and other research by all of the partners over the previous three years with street-involved Edmontonians.

"Losstenders" are a constellation of folks who open up spaces for moments of grief to also be moments for connection. Basically, we are artists who sat with and spoke to "Sharers" who told us their stories of life and loss. Thought of another way, a "Losstender" is kind of like the friendly bartender to whom people bare their souls. Three unique people chose to share their stories with me, but I was there to do more than sit and listen. I created a song for each of them as a lasting artifact of our encounters and to help them on their healing journeys, through feeling heard and helping to address unmet needs through song.

For more information about Soloss: soloss.ca

Cover art: This is a photo of the top of my mother's headstone, with memory stones. When one visits the grave of a departed loved one in Judaism, we leave a stone to mark that we were there.

credits

released May 7, 2021

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Paula Eve Kirman Edmonton, Alberta

Paula Eve Kirman is a Western Canadian singer/songwriter who writes and performs music with a message. Whether about life, love, social issues, or spirituality, she focuses on the passion and meaning behind the words.

Her song "Summer" was a finalist in the 2017 International Songwriting Contest, and her writing, poetry, and photography are widely published.
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