Better's Gotta Come
A year ago today we lost Nicola. Given all that's happened, this past year, at times it's hardly seemed real. Today, however, it feels very real indeed. The trigger has been music.
Second only to family, music was a big part of Nic's life and music brought her much joy; although our tastes differed greatly, we both recognised what music meant to each other. Nic would often phone to let me know if she knew a band I liked was appearing on the TV.
David Essex, Bucks Fizz, Jason Donovan, Take That and Weslife were all acts to which Nic made a very real connection. Songs she loved were either pure pop, filled with joy, or ballads, packed with love. Regrettably, however, none of the foregoing were able to offer her comfort as she struggled to come to terms with her situation. The songs she had come to love and know, now had nothing to say to her about her life.
I feel sad that she hadn't been able to explore music more deeply, to be able to discover songwriters' ability to make connections to a greater range of yet more complex feelings. Richard Ashcroft [Bittersweet Symphony] wrote:
I need to hear some sounds that recognise the pain in me.
Music won't take away the problem, but it can let you know that you're not alone. Right now, there's no better tune with the ability to express exactly how I'm feeling than Human by Johnny Marr. The lyrics savagely pick at the scab and expose the despair Nic and I shared about the coping-strategy she'd acquired and come to rely-upon as her sole defence-mechanism. But this song's not all dark; Marr holds-back, right until the end, a saviour-like riff that lifts you out of the darkness and pulls you back into the light.
Shortly after a loss, people ask you how you're feeling; but it's unlikely that you'll have had the time to explore those feelings. So very often neither do people have the time nor do you have the vocabulary to be able to adequately express how exactly you're feeling. But why use just words?
During the past year, I've used this Johnny Marr song to help explore and to make sense of those intensely personal, indescribable feelings. Today, once again, this song, neatly and concisely, ties-up everything into one emotional bundle.
If you have 4 minutes and 23 seconds to listen, do please click the link below to the YouTube video (with lyrics). I hope that, in so doing, you're able to find something of your own in the song and, maybe, to find a connection back to Nic; that is unless David Essex, Bucks Fizz, Jason Donovan, Take That and Weslife are your favoured routes.
This is the last photo I took of Nic, the day before she passed on. She was content, she felt reassured, confident, in control and was in a happy place. Better has now come. Sleep well little one. x