How can one song mean so much?

"It's amazing how you can attach feelings to a song, which will forever draw an emotional response," writes blogger Ryan Judson, whose Mum was cared for at our Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in West Yorkshire. "There are a few songs that make me think of my Mum, and for a number of reasons. Tonight, the most important one came on, and it hurt more than ever." Ryan wrote these words just over a month ago.

The beautiful 'Everglow' by Coldplay always makes Ryan remember his late Mum walking in the sunshine.

So it’s 1.13am and I have just started typing this blog on my phone. I should be asleep; I’ve been in bed two hours – heck, I’ve to be up at 6am for work! But, about an hour ago, I pressed shuffle on Spotify and on came Coldplay – Everglow.

If there is one song in the world that I will forever associate with Mum, it is that song.

The significance of Everglow

Why? I’m not so sure there’s any one reason. Coldplay were one of Mum’s favourite bands – something that, at the time, I never quite understood! – and the song also came out in November 2015, just one month after Mum passed away.

But, more than anything, I guess it’s the lyrics that just resonate so greatly:

Well they say people come
They say people go
This particular diamond was extra special
And, though you might be gone, and the world may not know
Still I see you, celestial.

And, when I think of Mum, it always seems to be Coldplay songs that come to mind. The lyrics of Everglow and Christmas Lights both resonate so deeply, whilst the introduction of Charlie Brown would instantly make me think of Mum and bring tears to my eyes, both now and throughout Mum’s illness.

Anyway, I’m not on commission here, so that’s enough about Coldplay for one night.

Did it come on for a reason?

The reason I’m writing this blog is because often, when I hear the song Everglow, I’ll skip it. It’s not something I can just half listen to – it’s too important for that.

I like to be alone when I listen to it; to pay attention to the music and the words; to go through my photo album of Mum whilst I listen.

But tonight, at some point after 12.00am on 16th January 2019, when I pressed shuffle on a playlist of over 120 songs, Everglow came straight on. And I can’t help but think it came on for a reason.

"The hardest part is Mum isn't here to meet my daughter"

Today is the due date of my first child. A baby girl, no less – though she’s yet to make an appearance, so we wait with baited breath. She wasn’t planned, and the whole situation has taken an incredibly long time for me to come around to. My mind has been in some dark and unpleasant places at times along the journey to this point.

The hardest part (an unintentional Coldplay lyric, sorry!) of this entire situation is that my Mum isn’t here to be a part of this. To be able to meet her granddaughter, and be the most incredible Grandma that she most definitely would be.

Even now, I’m not ready for that, and it breaks my heart just to think that Baby will never meet her Grandma.

I have the most unbelievable relationship with my Mum’s mum, who is now 88, and to know that my own child won’t have that same privilege tears me up. The cruel impact a brain tumour can have strikes me now as much as ever before.

"I have the most unbelievable relationship with my Mum’s mum, who is now 88, and to know that my own child won’t have that same privilege tears me up."

My younger sister had her first child, the brilliant little Martha, at the end of 2017, and I know has encountered these same issues that I now face. How she copes as well as she does, I have no idea. She’s incredible really, and I can only think she gets her strength and resilience from our wonderful Mum.

The one consolation that I’m able to cling to is that Mum did get the chance to be a grandma to my older brother and sisters' children. On five occasions, no less!

'Grandma Rachy' with Ryan's niece Grace.

'Grandma Rachy', as she was to them, was perfect in every way – loving, caring, considerate, anything the kids needed her to be. And, though I’ll never be okay with the fact Mum will never meet my own baby or Martha, I’m able to sleep a little better at night knowing that, for however short a time, she did have Grace, Harry, Eve, Millie and Ruby.

Though she’s not here to be part of this baby journey with us, Everglow coming on how and when it did tonight confirms to me that Mum’s still watching on. This was just her way of checking in; letting me know that everything will be okay and that she’ll always be there, watching.

I'm running the London Marathon 2019 in memory of his Mum, and all funds raised will go to Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice.

PS If you’ve never heard the song Everglow by Coldplay, then do give it a listen. It really is quite beautiful.

This blog post originally appeared on Ryan's personal blog:

The official video of 'Everglow' by Coldplay, Ryan's Mum's favourite band.


Photo of Ryan Judson, a Sue Ryder London Marathon runner

London Marathon runner

Ryan Judson
Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice

Ryan Judson is running the London Marathon 2019 for Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Leeds, who helped his mum live as comfortably as possible at home after she was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2011, and supported his family following her death in 2015.