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My Immortal


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I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who had lost her husband somewhat suddenly and in different circumstances. And she brought up this song by Evanescence. I thought I would post my reply here as well.


My Immortal

I'm so tired of being here

Supressed by all my childish fears

And if you have to leave

I wish that you would just leave

Cause your presence still lingers here

And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal

This pain is just too real

There's just too much that time can not erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears

And I held your hand through all of these years

But you still have all of me

You used to captivate me by your resonating light

Now I'm bound by the life you left behind

Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams

Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal

This pain is just too real

There's just too much that time can not erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears

And I held your hand through all of these years

But you still have all of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone

But though you're still with me

I've been alone all along

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears

When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears

I held your hand through all of these years

But you still have all of me

There are a couple of things I would say. I love having the sense of Becky around. The hardest part about moving was that she did not feel part of the new house. The first week was tough in that I didn't feel her there. As our stuff has gotten out and more organized, I think that has changed.

My problem with the lyrics is that it takes things that for me are positives and turns them into negatives. I bolded a few of them. I don't want to be left alone. And I would have never thought of dreaming of Becky as haunting. Or thinking of her. Or even of thinking of the life we had planned. Because I know I am a better person because of all of this.

Another song I have listened to is Garth Brook's The Dance. And I think he is full of crap. He talks about if he had known at the beginning the way it all would end, he might not have danced. Had you sat my sorry butt here 12 years ago when Becky and I were first dating, and said this is what will happen to you if you go through with this, I would have signed up in a second. I am a better man today. I am a father literally and figuratively because of Becky. I know now the love I am capable of.

Part of this is our different circumstances. One of the things I have to do is foster Katie's memories of Becky. You don't need to worry about your daughter remembering your husband. And so maybe that is part of why having the house ooze with Becky's spirit is a comfort to me and more of a torture to you.

There's just too much that time cannot erase. That's true. But isn't that also the good stuff? Yes, it cannot erase the minutes that I had to decide to turn off her ventilator, did so, and held her hand as she died. But more importantly, it means awkwardness of our first date, and the excitement as she took her clothes off for me the first time, and running to the courthouse two hours before our wedding because there had been a snafu with the certificate, buying our first house and our best house, scratching her back while we both read before bed thousands of times, pregnancy with all its uncertainties, ... Time will not erase these either. Becky will always be part of me. And I embrace that. And so even as I hope to remarry and have more children, it will mean incorporating her into a new family. I will never be rid of her. I would never want to be rid of her.

There is a whole branch of statistics called Bayesian statistics, based on the idea that there is no such thing as a straight probability. That everything is based on what has happened before it, called a conditional probability. And I think life is Bayesian. We are all impacted by the events that happen to us, and we are changed by those events. And so it is a different me that comes forward into this new life. And it is a different you. We cannot recapture the people we were or the people we would have been. They can no longer exist.

Becky is the love of my life, too. The love and the life we built are absolutely the greatest joys and achievements in an otherwise relatively pitiful existence. But it also shows me what I am capable of. I didn't know I could love so much, laugh so much, be so tender and honest and vulnerable. And, to be fair, I don't know that I can do it again. But I want to try.

In some respects, we are silly to get into the mess of falling in love. I was talking to a divorced friend about this. There are only two ways for a marriage to end; the way hers did and the way ours did. Neither one of them is fun. But the joy of the dance, as Garth would say, is so worth it.


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Nicely put Curtis but you've got the singer of the song you should be listening to in your signature, Harry Chapin, and the song is Circle.

My favorite part is:

It seems like I've been here before;

I can't remember when;

But I have this funny feeling;

That we'll all be together again.

No straight lines make up my life;

And all my roads have bends;

There's no clear-cut beginnings;

And so far no dead-ends.


I found you a thousand times;

I guess you done the same;

But then we lose each other;

It's like a children's game;

As I find you here again;

A thought runs through my mind;

Our love is like a circle;

Let's go 'round one more time.


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the song I am quoting of his is one of my favorites, an obscure ballad called Stranger with the Melody. The narrator of the song is a man spending his first night in a boarding house, and he hears another man singing the chords to a song, rather than meaningful lyrics, over and over in the next room. He finally tells him to shut up, and they start talking about why this guy is singing like this in the middle of the night. Here is the peak of the song, and why it is quoted for me:

"I gave her the music, son. She gave me the words.

Together we'd write the kind of songs the angels must have heard.

Of course, we'd fight like cats and dogs, but life ain't no rosebud dream.

Still, whatever we'd do, everybody knew, we truly were a team.

I can't remember now if I done her wrong or if she done wrong to me.

But all I know is that I let her go, and it did not set me free."

That's when I (the narrator) said, "You sound like what's his name."

"That's who I am. But you can't wrap your name around you, boy, cause it really don't mean a damn.

You see a song don't have much meaning went it ain't got nothing to say.

What she could do was magic, son. All I can do is play."

He started singing again, that's when I drifted off.

Maybe I dreamed what I heard.

About the stranger, with his melodies, who'd gone and lost the words.

Curtis again. And that is how I feel a lot of the time. Not as negative towards myself as this guy, and I definitely didn't force her away or anything like that, but I do feel like half a song, and the less meaningful half at that. Like I am going through the motions.

And I also think that when you line up all the good things about me, and then think about Becky and what she could do and did, what she could do was magic, son. All I can do is play.


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There are several times a day that I think, what would Becky do right now. (Of course, my WWBD bracelet helps me remember.) And it is a calming influence on me.

I sense Becky around me all the time, and even more importantly, I understand that most of what is good in me is good because Becky molded it that way. (I do get some credit, mainly that I listened to her most of the time, even when she didn't think so.)

So we go on. And as the John Denver song says, some days are diamonds, and some days are stones.


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