Lori McKenna - That's How You Know

When I heard this song for the first time, I wept. Then I listened to it on repeat for hours.  It's a song that illuminates the gradual process of living again after a devastating loss. While I do not believe "moving on" is possible for everyone, the message of this song still deeply resonates with me because I have found a way to survive, to love, to write, to feel moments of happiness, to create a meaningful life after so much death. Occasionally, I can even detect the change that is taking place in me, the way I am adapting to the absence of my father. A time came when I could speak his name without crying, visit the cemetery, read a book, watch a television show he loved, look at photographs of him. What's interesting is that such things, while they were easier just a few years ago, are once again difficult. Maybe grief is cyclical. Maybe, as the years pass, his death is more final, more unbearable.




Lyrics:

When you take the train to midtown to have coffee by yourself
Pull the pictures from the drawer and put them back up on the shelf

When you hear the sound of church bells
And they don't make you wanna cry
And you're not getting drunk just so you can hide

That's how you know
That's how you know

When you open up the curtains - start answering the phone
Stop driving around for hours - cuz you hate going home

When you can talk about it - even say their name
When you start thinking you'll survive even though
You'll never be the same

That's how you know
That's how you know
That's how you know
That's how you know

There's no such thing as a long goodbye
When you wish it would've lasted your whole life

When you don't need a cigarette or a pill to help you sleep
When you don't end every night on the hard wood on your knees

When you wake up one morning surprised to see the world exists
And your eyes ain't full of tears
Your heart ain't full of bitterness

That's how you know, that's how you know
That's how you know, that's how you know

When you're thankful that you ever knew a love this strong
When you finally find the courage to write this song

That's how you know
That's how you know
That's how you know
You're moving on