Heavenly Message A song for Natalie
Heavenly Message: A song for Natalie
A tribute song in memory of former Forth Valley College student – Natalie Jane Gray – aims to raise money for a worthy local cause.
Originally a heart-rending poem written by mother Helen Nicol, the recently released ‘Heavenly Message’ – adapted, sung and produced by Stirling based musician Lino G Rocha – will raise funds for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.
Natalie sadly passed away last May aged just 20, after bravely battling a brain tumour, one of the largest that a Glasgow Oncology Team have ever seen. She attended FVC one day a week for two years when she was at Bannockburn High School studying an Early Years course, harbouring dreams of being a paediatric nurse.
Natalie was a FVC classmate and the same age as Eilidh – who also passed away from cancer just before her 16th Birthday. Helen hopes Forth Valley College students and staff will now buy the song online from Amazon and itunes for around £1 and help the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund.
Helen, a midwife and holistic therapist from Stirling, said “Natalie just loved going to college, she never missed a day. She wanted to be a children’s nurse and while she was helping me set up for a seminar on the results of a research project I was involved in, she was kindly given the chance of being shown around the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit by a ward Manager. This made her more focused on studying hard to reach her goal.
“The song has been adapted from a poem I wrote shortly after losing Natalie. I couldn’t sleep for many months, waking many times in the night. I just started to write as it seemed to help with the immeasurable pain I was enduring. The poem addresses the thoughts and emotions I was feeling at having loved and lost my daughter.
“The song has been slightly changed to capture the thoughts of anyone who may have lost a loved one in a bid to give them comfort during this hard time. It is simply a lovely touching song using a catchy melody with a soulful voice. Not only do I hope to help others by raising funds for charity, it is also my aim to try and help others who are experiencing what I have with the song and eventually use what I have written to produce a book to share my journey.
“I am sure Natalie would have been pleased with the song and have no doubt that she was with us when we were working on it. As in the song, I definitely feel she is still around sending her messages all over the place for her family and friends in a hope to bring comfort to us all. I think for people to believe that their loved one is gone, but still around in another way, is the spark that can ignite us to live on in this world.”
Lino is a lead singer/composer who is well known around the world in the Salsa circle of music and has sung and collaborated with many bands/artists such as Salsa Celtica, Juan de Marcus Gonzales who created the Buena Vista Social Club Cuban band as well as non-Latin genre artists such as The Pet Shop Boys, Matt Bianco and Loreena McKennitt.
Lino is also involved in musical theatre as a lyricist in an ongoing rock opera project. He is presently the lead singer of Scottish based salsa band Son al Son.
Helen, continued: “Lino is the partner of my good friend so I have known him for some time. He read my poem and felt it would make a lovely touching song that most people could relate to. We hope that many people download the song or buy CDs as it is for such a good cause. Natalie was involved in charity events even after her diagnosis of having cancer and I am sure she would have been involved in raising funds for this charity if she was still around. When she knew she was going to die, she said “Keep it happy” and that is what we are all trying to do by helping others.”
Helen and Natalie’s family and friends have already raised more than £12,000 for various cancer charities over the past year. She has shaved off her hair and donated it to the Little Princess Trust and has helped Strathcarron Hospice @ Home to win the National Lottery in the Health Project. She hopes this fundraising effort will raise more for the Eilidh Brown Memorial Fund with her profits from the sale of the single going to the fund which aims to build a holiday home for children with cancer up to 21 years of age.
Helen pledged to help this worthy charity when Eilidh’s mum Nicole gave her some words of comfort in the early days after Natalie’s death. The two heart-broken mothers had known each other before the two girls were born during a two year work experience drama course in Stirling.
Helen, added: “I spoke to Nicole after Natalie died and she was a great support. I promised Nicole then I would do something for Elidh’s Memorial Fund and hope it makes as much money for the fund as possible.”
Musician Lino, said “I am very happy with how the song has turned out. My only concern was what Helen would think of it as I had to adapt it slightly to make it the song it is, but she was very happy with it. I would now like it to go towards an album I am working on now. It has been an inspirational experience for me and I was delighted to do it.”
The song can be downloaded from the links:
CDs can be purchased on request by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org
The just giving page can be found at: www.justgiving.com/Teams/NatalieGray