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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday's Songs for the Soul: "She Misses Him" in Memory of Tim Johnson, Hit Songwriter

Music lifting the veil between heaven and earth

Thought for the Day: When I start working on my Saturday's Songs for the Soul, I often begin by remembering a song that I have found inspirational. Often, I have heard the songs both on the radio and by the hit songwriter at a songwriting retreat either in Nashville, run by NSAI (Nashville Songwriter's Association International) or that I organized several years ago in New England & Florida. I have not been running any retreats since just before 9/11. I held a retreat in New Hampshire in August of 2000. One of the teachers was Hit Songwriter, Tim Johnson. At the time, he told the story of how he came to write the song, "She Misses Him." Today, I wanted to share this wonderful song. Sadly, I learned that Tim passed away in October of 2012 from colon cancer. Although it made it even more importance to share the song that has helped many people dealing with Alzheimer's here, it changed this post significantly. Therefore, I am sharing another video with you today of how songwriters are missing Tim and helping his wife and family.

Tim had many bigger hits than "She Misses Him," however, he was especially proud of this song. He had written the song based on his Mother-in-law's ordeal dealing with her husband's illness. When he wrote it, he never thought it would be a hit. He was especially moved by the letters from families from around the world struggling with Alzheimer's thanking him for helping them understand and cope with the feelings related to the disease. It also helped the Alzheimer's Association explain how the disease impacts on families.  As a psychologist, I have shared this song many times with clients over the years and find that it always helps. It captures the emotions with sensitivity and empathy. This version is performed by Tim Rushlow. (There is another official version with photos of President Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy. Although Reagan's demise from Alzheimer's is well known, somehow his notoriety detracts from the song for me, so I chose this version posted by jahaefne on YouTube instead) 

It was hard to imagine how difficult it must have been been for Tim's wife to lose such a sensitive caring, creative husband at age 52 from cancer. The outpouring of support from the songwriting community who knew him by organizing the world's largest pitch of songs that Tim was unable to share is touching. His legacy and giving spirit are reflected in the song pitch by the creative community. Hopefully, we will be hearing some of these songs on the radio. His wife says that, "The veil between heaven and earth gets a little bit thinner for me when I hear Tim's music." I was blessed to have known him and remember how generously he gave his time to help teach aspiring songwriters.

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