November 9, 2017 5:35 pm
Updated: November 9, 2017 7:58 pm

Leonard Cohen’s music brings couple together to love and heal

WATCH: Leonard Cohen’s music has long been credited for bringing people together. Global's Gloria Henriquez speaks with a couple who found love and healing through the renowned singer-songwriter's music.


If Leonard Cohen had Marianne, Denis Shackle has Mary Lynn.

The Canadian icon’s music brought the two together during the lowest points of their lives.

READ MORE: Massive Leonard Cohen mural inaugurated in downtown Montreal

Denis credits Cohen’s songs with healing his broken heart.

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“Theoretically, I should’ve died on the top of a mountain in New Zealand, my home country,” Denis told Global News.

Denis and his sister’s husband, Bruce, were climbing mount Ruapehu when things went terribly wrong.

“Unfortunately, he tragically died,” Denis said.

“When he slipped, I had my hand out to catch him…Bruce very lovingly pulled his hand back, which was the second in my life I’ll never forget. It’s why I’m standing here today.”

Six days later, Denis returned to Canada, where his grief turned into hope.

READ MORE: Leonard Cohen honoured in Montreal one year after his death

“When Denis and I met, we were coming from places of needing to heal a lot of issues,” Mary Lynn told Global News.

She was also overcoming tragedy — the passing of her husband.

WATCH BELOW: Remembering Leonard Cohen

“Six days before our wedding, we found out he was dying of cancer,” Mary Lynn said.

“We said our vows in the hospital and he died in my arms six days later.”

Now, one year after Cohen’s death, the Contemporary Art Museum in Montreal is kicking off an exhibit in his honour.

“I’m still choked up, it was an amazing experience,” Denis said after the opening night wrapped up.

READ MORE: Leonard Cohen’s legacy lives on in upcoming Montreal exhibition

The couple is taking part in the tribute to the Canadian icon as a way of saying, ‘thank you.’

“Leonard has always been a very important part of my life,” Denis said.

“The first night we ever spent together there was ‘Bird on the Wire’ on the stereo. It was the beginning of a 20-year marriage that has Leonard woven into the fabric of that particular part of my life.”

“This is our romance music. This is how we healed with each other,” Mary Lynn added.


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