What a week. Last Thursday morning, we were informed of Aretha Franklin’s passing. While we’d been warned a few times prior, this still felt sudden and jarring, as news agencies pumped her legendary tunes over the airwaves, unearthing emotions and memories of years long passed. I grooved my way through the morning, singing along, weeping along, enjoying the memories and melodies until I clicked on Le Facebook.
The first post that appeared informed me that the tears had only just begun to fall.
Jill Janus, vocalist and Muse-Extraordinaire, had left us. The woman who has rocked so many stages, the talent who gives SO much gravitas and validity to great metal, the friend who reminded me that my dreams are possible… gone.
As someone who has battled depression and suicidal thoughts, I still don’t know what to say. I know how it feels to want the pain to stop. I know how it feels when nobody you speak to can understand why you don’t want to be. It’s like speaking another language, made up totally of the same syllables and sounds that you normally speak, but they all mean something different. Something secret. Something darker that can’t be exposed to the light… for fear of what? I still don’t know. I still can’t translate.
In more recent years, I’ve realized I wanna live, just without hurting. Life hurts sometimes. Life isn’t fair. But it needn’t always hurt… Though, my heart is still incredibly wounded by the loss of such a radiant woman who meant so much more to me than she’ll ever know.
On Friday night, we gathered. Over The Rainbow was transformed into a memorial den, dedicated to memories of Jill.
Let’s hold on to each other. Don’t let pain run amok, unaddressed…
Early this week, I got a tad older. The age at which Jill had told me she felt more amazing, more physically able, more herself, more of who she wanted to be. This is my wish for my new year along with wishes for anyone who feels unheard to find their voice, be seen and rock the life that is in your heart. IT’S TIME.