I didn’t associate any music with her before she died. When I was pregnant, and alone in the morning and writing, I listened to CBC Radio 2; I don’t listen to that station anymore. After she died, I would hear lines in songs that would make me think of her. Once R told me that the Coldplay song ‘Paradise’ made him think of her and that he listened to it on repeat at work for weeks right after she died. I knew what he meant: I remember walking around the seawall after she was gone and hearing the lines ‘in the night, the stormy night, away she flied’ and thinking, yes, that’s it, exactly, she just flew away from us. (Where did she go? Where did she fly, my girl, my love?)

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
So she ran away in her sleep

In the night, the stormy night
She closed her eyes
In the night, the stormy night
Away she flied.
(Coldplay, Paradise)

And there was this song, with its insistence on goneness, that E and I danced to and sang together, and I think E understood it, too:

Now you’re gone, gone, gone away
I watched you disappear
All that’s left is the ghost of you
Now we’re torn, torn, torn apart
There’s nothing we can do
Just let me go, we’ll meet again soon
Now wait, wait, wait for me
Please hang around
I’ll see you when I fall asleep.
(Of Monsters and Men, ‘Little Talks’)

And then, after she died, there were all the songs I would hear on the radio, often in my car, that would remind me of how carefree I once was, how I used to sing in the car or dance in clubs or be 25 and driving around Mexico in a van without a single fucking worry about my future and how did I ever end up here, broken like this? Sublime, the Pixies, the Violent Femmes.

And then there was this song. This song that still makes me cry every time I hear it. I thought it was a beautiful song before she died; after she died, it was devastating, too.

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