Share Your Stories Of Healing With The Dead
The feature film The Music Never Stopped is based on the true story of an estranged father and son reconnecting through the power of music, particularly the music of the Dead. How has the music of the Dead helped to heal you? Is there a specific song that has given you inspiration when you needed it? A memory of the Dead that has greatly enriched your life? Submit your personal tale of "gratefulness" in the comments of this page and not only we will pass along your anecdotes to the band, but you may just win a copy of The Music Never Stopped soundtrack and a t-shirt from the film. 10 winners will be selected at random.NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. (excluding Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam), 18 and older (or 19 and older for residents of AL and NE) at time of entry. Void where prohibited. To enter: Visit http://www.dead.net between 12:00pm Pacific Standard Time (“PST”) on March 21, 2011 and 12:00pm PST on April 1, 2011 and follow online instructions to submit entry. Limit one (1) entry per person/address/email address. Subject to Official Rules available HERE.
When I was 22 years old I flew to Richmond, Indiana to visit my girlfriend for Valentine's day. It was a nice trip, filled with fun and love, (You don't know how easy it is to love you!) But I was ill for all of the three days I was there. Upon returning home to Palo Alto I went from bad to worse. I was very fatigued, I couldn't eat and turned a very ugly yellow-grey color. After a misdiagnosis of hepatitis and collapsing in a blackout at my mom's home I was taken by ambulance to Stanford Hospital and then to Valley Medical in San Jose. I had no medical insurance ( The people might know, but the people don't care that a man can be as poor as me.) It was four days with a failing liver, five blood transfusions, dozens of blood draws and top doctors not knowing what was wrong with me. "Did you eat any mushrooms?" "Well, not any poisonous ones lately!" Even though I was fading fast, I kept some faith that I wouldn't die ( . . . I will get by, I will survive).
Day five in the hospital - I'm now a sickly yellow-green-grey and down 25 pounds to 118. That day an intern saw copper ring deposits on my cornea and made the diagnosis: Wilson's Disease! A very rare genetic disorder where you don't metabolize copper and it stores in your liver causing neurological problems and death. Without a new liver I'd be brain dead in 48 hours. And all this time my mom thought brain death was CAUSED by the Dead! I was transferred up to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where one of the top transplant teams in the nation awaited me and hoped for a miracle matching liver. As I was lying in the back of the ambulance for the drive from San Jose to San Francisco I thought ". . . I'll just take a little rest." (To lay me down, one last time, to lay me down).
I awoke two days later in the ICU at California Pacific sore as I've ever been with tubes coming out of everywhere and hallucinating like crazy due to the lack of liver function and ammonia build up in my blood. I saw monkeys coming out of the ceiling and demon heads staring at me from shelves. "Good thing I took all that acid or I'd be pretty freaked out right now!"
A woman in Modesto crashed her car two days earlier. She happened to be 22 years old, she happened to have A- blood (1 in 16 chance) and she happened to have Spanish heritage. She was a perfect match and I now have her liver (There she goes and now here he starts - hear him cry!) My girlfriend came to San Francisco to bury me or heal me (When I had no wings to fly, you flew to me, you flew to me, to me). I had the same doctors who gave Stanley Mouse his new liver. My friend, Kathy, brought me my walkman and the first music I heard was Live Dead from Shoreline 8-18-91. First song: Samson and Delilah. One of my favorites because it's a great story about a man being made weak and then gaining strenth and rising up again. Check out this show - it's a great one from the Welnick/Hornsby days.
I had not bathed in three weeks and the first shower I took was incredible (Will not speak, but stand inside the rain and listen to the thunder shout: I am, I am, I am . . . I AM!)
I can't put into words the gratitude I have for her and for all organ donors (. . . Statements just seem vain, at last - some rise, some fall, some climb to get to Terrapin) (I love you more than words can tell) so I just share my life and my story with those I love and with strangers I meet, knowing it wouldn't be possible without her donation of love and hoping it will help to create more organ donations and save more lives. And consider we wouldn't have Phil, Mouse or David Crosby without organ donations!
I now have a wonderful wife (whom I met seven years reborn), two young daughters (. . . Where does the time go?) and a beautiful scar on by belly that reminds me how lucky I am and how prescious life is. So fill out those donation cards! Don't leave this world without giving your body to those who need it. (Everybody's playing in the heart of gold band). You can LITERALLY create life with your death (One man gathers what another man spills). Personally, when my time comes (When you hear that song - comes crying like the wind) I plan to give this liver to someone who really needs it and s/he can live and love one more day and feel the gratitude I do (Here comes sunshine!)
Much love to you all!
my first and best memories of lisening to the dead we`re with my uncle joe. He started me at the age of 5 , from playing dead music with his band in the garage in my back yard to bringing me to concerts in jersey. He would send me postcards from the many places he had been following the band around and telling me he wishes i was there but my mom would`nt let me go he was many things to me a father that i really never had , a first friend , one day he had called me on christmas telling me how much he missed me a could`nt wait to tell me all about he adventures with the band but it never happened becaues on january 19, 1993 they found him dead of an overdose he was only 40 yrs. old i am 44 now i still miss him alot but when i hear the dead it does`nt make me sad well maybe a little it brings a smile to my face because i know he`s there next to me dancing his dacnce keeping an eye on me, i have a tattoo on my back a tribute to him and the greatful dead your band made a great person very happy and i could never repay you for that thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I've been very blessed, so The Grateful Dead was more of a "preventive medicine" for me then a healer. In tough times they prevented me from going into depression. They taught me the exercise and power of dance. They opened my eyes to healthy living, karma, and giving. They brought on the "party when I needed it most."
The song "Comes a Time", "helped me make it somehow, on the dreams I still believe..." not to give them up..." And when "I felt so much pain"... they reminded me that "the day may come when you can't feel it all."
Thank you Grateful Dead for all the healing music. Thank you Robert Hunter and all the other Grateful Dead songwriters for all those inspiring words and music.
...that my back might need protection."
On December 1st 1996 Noah was born after a wonderful healthy pregnancy. Natural birth with no drugs for pain. Two very strong midwives in Encinitas, California. With my then husband Rich and my best friend in the world Lori there to coach me through the 36 hours of labor and delivery. I was ready for my Althea to be with me and nurse and cuddle and in delerium of the endorphines I first heard"it is a B-O-Y?!? OK so he is not Althea? Then suddenly the room went hush, the baby came over to me and then the midwife took him back. "Wait?" No he stays here we agreed he would just be placed with me right away.
Then I look at Rich and he said something through tears that made no sense, then the midwife shook her head and I just could not understand what she was saying. The Lori's alarm came through,
"Amy he cannot breath but I swear I heard him say "help me" they will take him to Children's hospital"
I just could not understand....
Then seconds later Noah and Rich were gone in an ambulence, in a flash.
I went through the motions of the afterbirth and in a clear voice Mimi and Elyse my midwives told me what Noah was born with.
Spina Bifida, and I knew almost nothing about it. Noah had a hole in his back at the L5S1 level. A collapsed lung, an swollen head, a full head of black hair 8 pounds and 10 ounces,and he was born under a fire sign with five more in his birth chart and the spirit of that song..."Althea told me OK that's fine, and now I am tryin' to catch her"
On the way to Children's Hospital in San Diego Lori turned on the tape player and the music rocked my worried soul with the sweet words I so needed to hear. It was a show from the Oakland Col. just a few years prior to that day.
"I told Althea I was feelin lost,lacking in some direction.
Althea told me upon scrutiny that my BACK might need protection."
I started crying like I never had and Lori was screaming at me
"Hey! You cannot break down now! Hey!"
I stopped and looked at her and she pulled over and hugged me for a long time.
I knew that Noah would be just fine, he is my Althea and a blessing in my life. I am always learning more about people may have disabilities but that does not make them disabled!
Healing is most about faith and all the years of joy dancing loving to go to a show so much that I was still mourning for the loss of in 1996 filled me up with grace and hope and strength.
As for Noah, his back was closed with surgery, he had a shunt placed to drain fluid from around his brain.I took him home after 4 weeks in the NICU at SD Children's. He has some issues that have been a struggle but he always finds his way.
He started walking at age 3.5 years, he has had bladder surgery to protect is kidneys, he has had multiple surgeries to fix his shunt. He has 20/20 vission in one eye and 20/200 in the other. School is not easy for him but he has achieved grade level ability and socially well maturity will bring the other kids around. He even was stricken with meningitis which knocked him down hard 2 years ago. He beat it!
He is now 14 and will graduate 8th grade in June. He will start at Credo High in September 2011. He is involved with the Marin Shakespeare Teen Touring Company, and he loves music and has been to a few concerts(Phil and Friends,Indigo Girls,Spearhead,Phish)
The words and melody of Althea will forever be a source of healing and peace for me, and Noah.
"There are things you can replace and others you cannot,
the time has come..."
Thank You! Jerry,Bobby,Phil,Mickey,Billy and Brent,and Vince, and Bruce, and Donna, and Keith and Pig Pen....and Owlsley,and all the rest who made for me growing up in the 70's and 80's the best fun I could have ever had. The memories always are medicine when ever I feel things are too harsh. The energy of the music and the memory of the feeling of being at a show twirling and floating on the notes. I am so lucky thank you!
Trade your hopes for joy!
Love Amy and Noah!
That's easy. 30 years ago this year, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given just weeks to live. Then my grieving dad died completely unexpectedly, and my mom then passed three days later. Orphaned! But while growing up I spent every summer up in my family's cabin along the Delaware River and many a day sitting on the shore with that river, well, er, just "shimmering." The song? Brokedown Palace. It got my brothers and I through those days of heartache.
Can't wait to see the film.
“Fare you well, fare you well
I love you more than words can tell
Listen to the river sing sweet songs
to rock my soul.”
If you re read the directions I believe there are certain dates that allow you to submit March 21 and April1st
The Dead has helped me heal more times than I can count! Their music reaches out to me when I am down and offers a hand and says "I know what you mean, I've been there my friend", then it gently lifts me until I am dancing on air. The first time I really got into the Dead's music was about 1981 and I had a vicious hangover. I was in college and someone in a room down the way was playing American Beauty. The music gently drifted in and made me feel so so much better. From then on I got really curious and the rest is history! Thank you boys for making life a little easier!!!
My life with my father had always been a contentious one, mostly nonverbal. We just never spoke to one another. When he retired from the Postal Service, he also retired from life. In 1991, he ditched all of his heart meds, told me to butt out of his life, and proceeded to just life his life the way he wanted.
When I moved to Tucson in 1988, I barely rolled into town and heard "Touch of Grey" for the first time on one of the stations there, and just started to cry. The lyrics, "I see you got your fist out, say your peace and get out..." hit me as the very emotion my dad had always wanted to tell me, but didn't. I pulled off the road and hit a payphone, just to call him and tell him something I never told him before. He answered, and I blurted out, "I love you, dad, just thought you should know." He said, "I know. Here's your mom."
From that moment on, life between us changed dramatically, but not enough to sustain even a friendship. He died in 1999, but every time I hear "Touch of Grey," I remember him, and smile through the day. Thank you, Jerry and Bob, for the song. It's what bonded dad and me for just awhile.
January 2009 I received a diagnosis of prostate cancer, April 2009 surgery followed up by 36 sessions of radiation therapy.
What got me throught this was listening to my dead collection on the iPod. Especially 1-20-78 Eugene Oregon and the entire 2nd set. How could that "close encounters" not be one of the best guitar jams by Jerry is beyond me.
For those that might have experience at cancer surgery and radiation they would know that keeping your mind in the right place is key to making it through this. Grateful Dead was my key and I have no doubt getting lost in the music helped me to get through some pretty sick and rough times in my life. Thank you to all of the band members for helping me through my personal time of crisis. You guys are the best!!
There have been so, so many chapters and shows over the decades, encompassing life's milestones.....I think for me, it is the sense of oneness and peace within the deadhead community during shows. Regardless of whatever was going on in individual lives, or the world, wherever in the world we were, just entering those heavenly gates to the shows would melt all troubles away - sharing that special bond with what has become a second "family". The older I get, the more important these events have become - and sharing them with other enlightened souls is as close to nirvana as I'll probably ever get.
Thank you, Jerry, Phil, Bobby, Mickey, Bill, Pigpen, Keith, Brent, Vince, Bruce......for being such an important, positive influence in my life! We love you!