The Requiem I wrote was first imagined by my husband, Seward Rutkove, who thought I should write a Requiem for both my Mom and all others who passed in 2020. My Mom was not religious, exactly, although deeply spiritual. I wrote a Requiem that didn’t use any religious or cultural references because I wanted it to be a requiem that all could relate to, no matter what their faith or ideas. Some may find that my simplification of a Latin Mass is not palatable, I sincerely hope not. My intention was simply to be inclusive in modern times. The Requiem itself is a story of my feelings on my mom’s passing—grief and sorrow, but also the moment when I had to make the decision to stop her ventilator (this is conveyed in the second movement, “Oh have mercy”). And there are always things you wish you could say once someone has passed, these feelings are also expressed in this Requiem.
My Dad, Otto Ruehr, pictured here, took care of my mom with great love and care in her last years. I will always be grateful to him.