The last 12 months have been incredibly hard. I have to learn how to live on this planet without you, and it is the single most daunting task that I have ever attempted. I am only just now able to refer to you in the past tense – and it still feels foreign to the tongue. It seems impossible that you have moved on while I remain. You are in a place where there is no more pain, no more sorrow, no more hunger, no more anger; but here, those things are thriving. Humankind continues to spiral into an abyss of immorality and depravity. It seems that you took the last vestiges of kindness and hope with you…
We were supposed to grow old together, to laugh and cry and love, to enjoy our own version of geriatric rock and roll. That won’t happen now, and I resent having to come to terms with that fact. I have railed against you. I have railed against your inner circle. I have railed against God. None of it has done any good. You aren’t coming back – and I am not so selfish as to wish you would. You have gone to your reward and I know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. But, oh how I miss you. Your spirit exiting this place has left a palpable disruption in the atmosphere. I will eventually adjust to this “new reality” and I hope that the very day that I do is the day that I meet you in Paradise.
I feel as though I am caught in a perpetual cycle of the stages of grief. Anguish gives way to anger. Anger sends me right back to anguish. Some days the pain seems unbearable. Other days, it is as if I am moving languidly through a bad dream. This lack of “closure” seems to be due, in part, to your inaction with regard to your legacy; and that, in and of itself, is hard to reconcile. Why did you insist on remaining so damned cryptic, no matter what? Those who love you are all out here floundering, trying to figure out what you would have done and how you would have done it, but all the while knowing that we won’t ever figure that out because you spent 57 years building a mystery. Keeping us all guessing and off balance, exercising total control – even from beyond.
You worked so hard for so long to protect your work and your privacy, and now both are being perverted by people who claim to have loved you. It is important that your dignity remain intact and your legacy be protected. I try to keep that in mind whenever I am tempted to react out of anger. I recognize that you weren’t perfect, but seeing your character buffeted by the blows of a media thriving on salacious details, and a society that thinks in 140 characters, only serves to rip open the hole in my chest that had just started to scar over. I am trying to protect you the best way I can: by being kind, by spreading your message of love for one another, by holding my tongue even when it feels like my head will explode from the effort. Some folks mistake my silence for assent. I guess they simply don’t understand that I just need to be still and know. If I allowed myself to audibly scream as loudly as I am screaming inside, God Himself would be deafened by the sound. Refusing to engage means that I can choose not to choose. You taught me that.
I know you are watching and I hope I am making you proud. I will always do my best to protect you, to ensure that your work remains relevant, to introduce you to young people, to encourage others to play and dance and write and love…
I love you with a fierceness that defies explanation and my sorrow at the loss of you resonates through every fiber of my being. The love will be rewarded and the sorrow alleviated when we are all together, the day that the lion lays down with the lamb.
Until then, I pray that you rest easy, my sweet Maestro.
©2017 Kim Rodman