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The Music Between Us is a memoir about reckoning with a painful childhood, a spiritual awakening, and discovering some of life's greatest lessons in the most unexpected ways.


Steve was raised by a single mother with a severe mental illness. The effect of this upbringing was something that thwarted his social interactions and relationships throughout his life. These were often contaminated by a legacy of fear, agitation, confusion, and feelings of inadequacy. 


As a young man, Steve wanted to be a musician. Largely self-taught on the guitar, he lacked the talent to play professionally so he chose another career path until he retired, working in TV and radio stations in Kansas City, Memphis, and Charlotte.


In his retirement, as a volunteer, Steve began playing guitar for hospice patients. As their bedside musician, his private performances and companionship to those nearing the end of their lives began to unlock long-buried memories of his own past. 

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The result? Surprising lessons and new insights about the events of his life and finding the path to forgiveness for himself and his mother. 


Incorporating moving and sometimes funny true stories of people in hospice, this book explores the mysterious ways that God has helped Steve understand and reclaim his life through the power of music and the unexpected gifts he received from those who did not have much life left. 


If you liked Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, you will enjoy this book. 


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“As Jim Morrison said, ‘No one here gets out alive’ and as The Music Between Us will remind you of that undeniable truth, it will also remind you that you have a lot of living to do. Steve Shares his most intimate and cherished stories in the pages of The Music Between Us. As he chronicles his musical encounters with the dying he begins to recall the influences throughout his life that shaped him; Including his mother’s profound mental illness, his spiritual awakening, the powerful influence of music and so much more. Steve’s candor and honest look at his own failings are refreshing and endearing. He allows us to laugh and cry with him as he transports us across time and place on the journey of a lifetime. He weaves together a fugue, a rich tapestry of lives connected by love and loss and death and ultimately the connection between a man, his guitar, and a dying (LIVING) patient.  The Music Between Us does for its reader what any good song does for its listener, it makes us feel, it opens our heart.”


- Barbara P., advance reader

"It's rare to encounter a book and life story that's so vulnerable, open, sad, uplifting and transformative all at the same time. If you enjoy personal memoirs and are inspired by stories of personal transformation grab a copy of The Music Between Us right away. 


Steve Litwer, the author, reflects deeply on two main topics that most of us avoid: the passing of loved ones and the reckoning and impact of trauma and hardship experienced in childhood. Through playing guitar to the dying, we watch Steve come to terms with his own life. Through his raw account, he causes us to reflect on our feelings about death, our own childhoods, and the life we wish to live."


-Rania A., advance reader 


Image by Kari Shea

When I first became a bedside musician, it never occurred to me that playing music and interacting with dying folks might require entering the very private space of strangers at a time when they were most vulnerable, preparing to leave behind their known lives for an uncertain destination, even as they clung to their memories. I slowly learned to become vulnerable with them too. Participating in one of the most tender moments of others’ lives through songs and companionship would often leave me also feeling this way. It was in this state, that I experienced the slow emergence of pieces of my own past, percolating up through lost times of my own life.

- Excerpt from The Music Between Us: Memoir of a Bedside Musician



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