The great Mac Davis said it best. “…Music is love, and love is music, if you know what I mean. People who believe in music are the happiest people I’ve ever seen…” I believe in music. A song can sometimes do for me what nothing else can… heal. A simple melody or even the most complex lyrics have a way of acting as a medicine of sorts.
The power that music holds is almost magical. When I reflect on what has sculpted me into who I am, I cannot help but notice that music has always been a backbone for me. There are many different obstacles that music has helped me overcome but one stands taller than the rest. In fact, it changed my life forever.
His credentials were nothing out of the ordinary. His name was Eric, and he was 21 when he died. Most death is unexpected and heartbreaking, but his was something that absolutely no one could see coming. To most of the world he was just another John Doe, but to me he was amazing. “Trouble,” he nicknamed me, “we need to start a band.” He taught me how to play guitar and as soon as I picked up on it he persistently insisted we would be the hottest act in town. Guess he always had a way of making me feel like a rock star.
Eric died by his own hand on December 8th, 2004. The funeral feels like it was yesterday, my wounds still as fresh as the day I found him. We buried him almost four years ago during an afternoon that chilled my bones, a mass of family and close friends huddled together searching for warmth and some kind of explanation. The only comfort I could seem to find was in the echo of the bagpipes.
In the months following the funeral I tried every venue that came to mind in trying to cope. Therapy, blogging, crying, working out…nothing seemed to help. Until one day I heard those same lyrics I had belted out with him so many times before. “What I really wanna know… what I really wanna say is there’s just one way back and I’ll make it, my soul will have to wait…” As Sublime finished singing our song, I discovered a smile on my face that was almost unfamiliar to me. It was the first time I had been able to think of Eric without mourning. For the longest time I lived in a dark cloud, didn’t know up from down or day from night, and just like that I could smile again.
The precious few memories I have of him, my brother and best friend, are forever just that…memories. Those memories are forever trapped in the deepest darkest depths of my brain, in the warmest most loving aspects of my heart, and every single square inch of my soul. To see Eric and sing Sublime with him just one more time is a blessing unattainable. But every now and then, I can close my eyes while listening to “Santeria” and almost forget that he is gone.
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