Grief Warriors: Rise up!

Alexander Hamilton interpretative performance in Loving Memory of Ron Silberstein

In August of 2018 we (son Joe, husband Tom and I) decided on a plan to travel to New York to see Hamilton as a comforting distraction over the Christmas Holidays. Ron, as most folks know, left on Christmas morning and each year we honor that day in a special way. During that season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I read the book Hamilton by Ron Chernow, studied the music and, paying close attention to the lyrics, discovered how closely the lyrics followed the flow of the book.

Throughout my life I’ve been a student of music lyrics, so I was especially intrigued by the brilliant rhythmic use of language presented in the art form of rap.

I decided to memorize about ten lines of the opening song, Alexander Hamilton, and perform them for a gathering of my women friends later that year. In the beginning, they were a bit wary at first, but when I finished, they stood and applauded. I was hooked! Fast forward to 2020, the pandemic took hold. Just after that, I learned that the Philadelphia Protestant Home (PPH), where we live, was planning to have a virtual talent show (usually live) so I decided to learn the song in its entirety to perform for the show. We edited the official instrumental from the musical Hamilton to make this track. It was a gamble because they could have removed it from social media, but it looks like they approved of it, because they are leaving it up!

I asked Joe to take a phone video of me rapping Alexander Hamilton, which I would have been perfectly happy to post on Facebook and elsewhere. However, Joe, being a music producer with a studio, quickly developed a larger vision, believing that if we are going to put out a video, we should make the best presentation we can produce. And so, the video became our pandemic project.

Doing this work has brought an enormous amount of comfort to us. Joe, Tom and I have had so much fun! I believe it is a gift from Ron to us, as it is all wrapped up in strategies to help us manage our grief and loss as well as bringing us to a fuller life expression. It has made us sing and laugh, dance and visit historical sites. Finally, this is the ultimate expression of true, unbound, joyous patriotism!

Here is the link to Alexander Hamilton  Enjoy!

Filming inside The National Constitution Center was a true joy!

Author: Marguerite Sexton

I was born in 1943, the 4th of 5 kids. My parents died when I was 8 and 18 respectively. I am fortunate to have been born to really nice people. My siblings and I sort of raised each other. I am married to Tom Sexton, the sweetest man on earth. My two sons, Ron and Joe, were from my first marriage. Tom brought three kids into our marriage, Tom Jr., Sean and Nicolle. I have lost many loved ones, most notably my mom and dad, my sister, Mary, at age 38, my brother Jack in January of 2015 and my beloved Ron on Christmas morning of 2015. I am grateful for all these beloved people who wait on just the other side of the thin veil.

5 thoughts on “Grief Warriors: Rise up!”

  1. Margie, You blow me away as you continue to reach out to a grieving world, and now THIS! First of all, how you memorized this song, when I had to read the play word for word several times just to understand the message before seeing the performance. Congratulations to you and your son for producing a classic rendition, including bringing Philadelphia’s historic sights to light. Thanks for sharing and I will proudly enjoy passing this on to family and friends. With Love and Hope for a better world, Cassie

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