White Coat, Black Art·Music

How writing a song a week helps Halifax musician cope with grief

Grieving during the pandemic has been difficult for George Woodhouse, whose father “Big John” died in May, but writing a song a week has helped him honour his father and work through the loss.

When George Woodhouse lost his father to cancer in May, the pandemic made the loss even harder to bear

George Woodhouse's father died in May, after being diagnosed with cancer. The loss was made worse by the pandemic restrictions which left Woodhouse isolated from his family.   (Mary-Catherine McIntosh)

This is a story from White Coat, Black Art's series called Prescription for Resilience: Coping with COVID on the many challenges people are facing during the pandemic, and what they're doing to find resilience.

Before the pandemic hit Nova Scotia, Halifax musician George Woodhouse was known for bringing people together to sing in local bars.

His biggest fan was his father "Big John," who died in May, after being diagnosed with cancer.

The loss was made worse by the pandemic restrictions which left Woodhouse isolated from his family.  

He says when his dad died, "it felt like a grief train was suddenly attached to my train. And in May when that happened, my train just stopped."

In an effort to work through the loss, Woodhouse made a pact to write a song a week to keep his train moving, and to honour his father's memory. 

Watch: George Woodhouse performs Lost Soul Rodeo

Photos: Honouring his father

Woodhouse's biggest fan was his father, known affectionately as 'Big John.' (Submitted by George Woodhouse)
The loss of Woodhouse's father was made worse by the pandemic restrictions which left him isolated from his family.   (Submitted by George Woodhouse)
Woodhouse thumbs through the lyrics for his song Lost Soul Rodeo which was originally called Peace. (Mary-Catherine McIntosh)
Woodhouse performs his song Lost Soul Rodeo at Herring Cove in Nova Scotia. (Mary-Catherine McIntosh)

Watch: George Woodhouse performs Peace of Mind

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