Music leads the way from grief to new beginning

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Sister Judy Loschiavo in her first grade classroom at St. Joseph Regional School in Somers Point Sister Judy Loschiavo in her first grade classroom at St. Joseph Regional School in Somers Point  SOMERS POINT – Sister Judy Loschiavo found music as a remedy to deal with grief after the loss of her parents. Now her hope is that her music will allow others feeling a sense of loss to find a chord that rings true to them.

A first-grade teacher at St. Joseph’s Regional School in Somers Point, Loschiavo said she was always close to her parents. Six years ago, her mother passed away unexpectedly, and there was barely time to grieve before her father began to have serious health problems. Loschiavo’s father passed away in March 2013, and a close friend of hers died in June.

Loschiavo said she had a difficult time with the grief and sense of loss. Prayer and a retreat helped, but she was left feeling quite alone with both her parents gone.  “I was having these feelings that I was forgetting the sound of my mother’s voice,” she said. “And that is really unsettling.”

Music had always been a big part of Loschiavo’s life and her classroom, where the students learn many things with a little helping of music. And it was music that helped her find her voice to rise above the grief.

Loschiavo said that this past November, she felt a great energy, and while she has always dabbled in writing, she found herself with ideas for songs that reflected her feelings. Ten of those songs are included on a CD released this week called “New Beginnings.”

Loschiavo reached out to Kit Worton of Right Touch Studio in Northfield, and he agreed to work with her on blending her words with music. The result of the cooperative effort has produced a body of music that is personal, but Loschiavo said when she listens to it, it brings to mind the important people in her life.

Loschiavo said writing music is powerful, and she feels that God has used the music to heal her heart and help her grapple with many feelings.  “I hope others will hear the songs and (they will) touch their heart and help them,” she said.

When her father received hospice care, Loschiavo spent time praying with him. She said they had a mantra: “Jesus hear my prayer.” That became one of the songs on the CD, and it reminds her of him.
Her favorite song on the CD is “You are My Heart.” Much like the person her mother was, Loschiavo said the song is a ballad – soft, peaceful and graceful. “I really feel my mother’s love when I listen to the song,” she said.

For the CD cover art, the children at St. Joseph’s formed a rainbow. “God sent us a rainbow after a storm, like a new beginning,” Loschiavo explained.

She does all the singing on the CD, which Worton recorded and mixed in his studio. The CD costs $15 and is available in the office at St. Joseph’s, 11 Harbor Lane in Somers Point, or by calling 609-927-2228.

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