April 18, 2024

P - Playlist + Photo Collages


Theme: Grief Work and Healing Journey

I had introduced my mom to the YouTube and Spotify apps on her TV in 2020. She spent a lot of time saving songs and playlists she had found and enjoyed to her Spotify account, as well as videos to her YouTube account.

On her YouTube, she’d discovered cute digital Christmas towns and adorable snowy settings with animals created by Tim Janis, that are paired with popular Christmas carols. She loved to play these in the evening when she read. I would always go into her room for a while before bed and had a lot of fun watching those cute videos, too. Sadly, the ones she had saved (that were the best) were marked as private by the creator.

Here’s one, though, to give you an idea:

She used to watch them throughout the year, which felt so cozy, but she hadn’t watched them at all in 2022. Not even when I offered them as an idea for her to watch to calm any anxiety she had felt.

She hadn’t even turned on her Spotify playlists, which she used to also do when she read in the evening. I think it was because she had stopped reading. (And that was due to a combination of being tired and also because her eyesight had changed.)

After my mom passed away and my siblings and I were discussing traveling to Key West to spread her ashes in the ocean, I thought about creating a special playlist of my mom’s favorite songs to play while I drove down to Key West, and to continue playing it during my drive back home. (We haven't done this trip yet, but I still made the playlist.)

I love to make playlists. I do it all the time. I've created several playlists for many different reasons/moods/themes, etc. So, creating this playlist to honor my mom was a no-brainer.

Coincidentally, “make a playlist of your mom’s favorite songs” was a suggestion mentioned in Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom’s Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder on the page that depicted an app and its features that the author wished existed. See the image below. I circled the features in yellow that I particularly felt I would’ve benefited from.

Well, I did not have a handy Dead Mom app to help me create a playlist, but I did spend a lot of time checking out my mom’s Spotify and YouTube accounts for her favorites that I wanted to use to compile the "In Honor of My Mom, Elaine Kaye" playlist.

And here it is (currently a work-in-progress): 

Photo Collages:

I made a photo collage slideshow shortly after my mom’s passing to share on Mother’s Day. Putting it together gave me something to do, and watching it made me smile. The music makes my foot tap, and every time I see the photo of my mom hugging my brother-in-law, I break out into a smile. 

I also put together a photo album collage of pictures of my family with my mom, as well as pictures of her throughout her life. I created it using the Chatbooks app and gifted a copy of it to my siblings for  Christmas. Looking at the pictures and putting together the album helped me through the rough first couple of weeks after her passing.


  1. When I'm done writing and editing for the day, I switch to painting. I always have music playing while I paint, and more often than not I am playing old songs that were my mother's favorites. Sometimes it hurts, but it always gives me a warmth, too.

    I agree with you on wishing there was an app that would take out all movies where the mother dies. Those hurt too much.
    My best to you, Chrys!

  2. It's something to focus on. I'm glad this helped you.