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How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

Facing the inevitable, through acceptance and embracing the moment.

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Facing the inevitable, through acceptance and embracing the moment.

The Bee Gees : Courtesy HBO

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Bee Gees and Andy Gibb lately. The recent release of the documentary “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”, which I watched with my family, left us bereft, happy, sad, even singing… taking us on a journey to the past through music, helping us recall happy and sad days, the loved ones who we dearly miss. For my twenty something year old daughter it was the discovery of legends and music, which she was more than excited to explore.

Andy and Barry Gibb pictured in the 1980s – Courtesy HBO

It also helped me recall a wonderful episode that I had pushed to the back of my mind, specifically 1987, when as a teenager I  arrived on the West Coast of the US, to live and study in Los Angeles.  I was based in Westwood Village, and having arrived early that Summer, it was sometime after that my friend and I bumped into Andy Gibb at a restaurant in the neighbourhood.  I remember our intense excitement as we asked ourselves, isn’t that one of The Bee Gees? Well..we thought, yes, then no, then sort of.  It’s heartbreaking to recall that there were no cellphones in those days, so we did not capture the moment for posterity!   All we remember was his lovely face, humble smile, and indeed a laugh when I blurted out “Don’t Throw It All Away!” as I pointed at him.  It was a magical moment for us as fans, and all the more devastating when we learnt of his passing in the UK, in March the following year.

It was an unimaginable loss for his family.  The youngest child, brother, passing away so young at the age of 30. The immense sadness still runs through.  “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart”, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Frank Marshall (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Seabiscuit),  is a moving documentation of the lives of the superlatively talented Gibb Family, which the only remaining survivor Barry Gibb, cannot bring himself to watch.


With the thought and reference to powering through bad times and making every effort to come up roses in the moment during life’s difficulties ,  in a recent interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN, Barry Gibb said ” …a lot of events they just happen …circumstances are really important and you have to pay attention – but you can’t predict the future ..you just can’t.” The dignity and acceptance of his brothers’ destiny, shown by Barry Gibb is a masterclass in preparation for bereavement which we will all eventually face.  The need and importance of making the most of everyday, especially in the times we are currently in, helps us all to celebrate the joy of just living .  We find that now we recognize the full worth of daily routines, even more when we seem to have no control, that it all simply helps us garner a whole new appreciation of the essence of everyday.

Acceptance of uncertain destiny, relishing the days, celebrating the now, are major steps in the journey to mending hearts broken by life’s experiences, and yes, that includes music. In the words of Kahlil Gibran it’s “… the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.”

Sources :  https://www.hbo.com/documentaries/the-bee-gees-how-can-you-mend-a-broken-heart
https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2021/01/27/amanpour-barry-gibb-bee-gees.cnn

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