Resources for Loss

Three songs from "Carrie & Lowell" by Sufjan Stevens, contributed by Charis Garman (2021)

Sufjan Stevens wrote “Carrie & Lowell” as a reflection on his estranged mother’s death from stomach cancer. He says, “With this record, I needed to extract myself out of this environment of make-believe,” and “It's something that was necessary for me to do in the wake of my mother's death—to pursue a sense of peace and serenity in spite of suffering. It's not really trying to say anything new, or prove anything, or innovate. It feels artless, which is a good thing. This is not my art project; this is my life.” The songs address the complexity of relationships and humanity: dealing with themes of ambiguous loss (by estrangement), religion, cyclical grief and life, and the aftermath of death. The lyrics rely heavily on personal and traditional imagery, and the music, with the rippling accompaniment, is calming. Listening to these tracks has always given me a sense of tranquility as I contemplate my own losses and mortality.

This page has paths:

This page references: