Dancing with My Father

A few days ago I discovered a new song — “Never Get Used To” by Seinabo Sey — with a great beat that I immediately started dancing to. As I danced, and began to sing along to the chorus, I realized it was a song about a daughter missing her father.

“I cry ’cause I remember you

And then I cry when I forget about you

I smile ’cause I remember you

And then I smile again to pull myself through

Calling for you is your daughter

I look for you ‘round every corner

Oh, I need to hear your voice, it’s harder

Than ever before

’Cause see I’ll never get used to

Not having you around me

Daddy, I’ll never get used to

Not having you around me”

The song resonated so deeply, so viscerally with me. And I was surprised to hear myself singing such painful words while simultaneously dancing with energy, and perhaps even joy.

I am in awe of the song’s ability to allow me to feel the ache of my father’s physical absence, and yet dance, an activity I have always loved, and that has always alleviated stress.

Today would have been my father’s 81st birthday. I truly miss my father every day, but even more so on special occasions like today. But since discovering “Never Get Used To,” I have found another way to process my loss and grief. That process is lifelong because I feel my father’s physical absence anew, and in different ways, as time marches on.

But this song has given me the gift of singing words that echo and affirm my pain, but to a beat that allows me to dance with abandon. Music is healing and this song is salve for my wound.

I will never get used to the world without my father, but I will continue to find ways to integrate my loss, and to recognize all the ways he makes his ethereal presence known.

“Remember me

Remember me

Remember me

Under the sun”

— “Remember” by Seinabo Sey



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Naomi Raquel

Naomi Raquel


Bilingual. New Yorker. Multiethnic. Change Agent. Author of “Strength of Soul” (2Leaf Press; University of Chicago Press, April 2019)