Sometimes you just want to lean into the gloominess. “Pictures of You” is a haunting and beautiful song by America’s goth sweethearts, the Cure. It might also have the power to help some people navigate the tumultuous and often non-linear journey of grief. With its melancholic melody and evocative lyrics, the song serves as a sonic refuge, offering solace and understanding to those grappling with loss.
I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of youThat I almost believe that they’re real I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you That I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel
The song, which was originally released on 1989’s “Disintegration” doesn’t shy away from the pain of losing someone. It is not an uplifting song, but sometimes we just need to wallow in our sorrow, and if that is your mood, the Cure, and this song in particular, can be your soundtrack. With its nostalgic vibes, I find the track particularly effective for reflecting on a loved one who you lost a long time ago, even years ago. Being able to lean into the emotions of grief years later is important for so many people; grief is not something that we feel just in the immediate aftermath of losing someone: it comes it waves, and can last a lifetime.
Robert Smith’s emotive vocals, paired with the ethereal quality of the music, create a profound experience for the listener, allowing them to revisit cherished memories and emotions. In the midst of grief, these images and feelings, like “pictures of you,” become a source of comfort and a reminder that the love and memories shared with the departed will forever endure.
This introspective, nostalgic song becomes a soundtrack for healing, enabling listeners to both mourn and honor the lives of those they’ve lost. Especially for those of us who struggle to mourn publicly alongside others, but need to “let it out” privately, “Pictures of You” is a perfect track for facilitating that experience, a small moment of refuge on the longer journey towards peace and acceptance.