One of my favorite music artists died on September 7, 2018.  But, recently his team came out with the record he was working on when he died.  I know that music is subjective, I know I would be bias when I heard it, but it is fantastic.  It is Mac Miller’s Circles album if you are so inclined to check it out. 

I know I have thought before that after people die people rush to put out music as a last sort of money grab.  I have been very skeptical of works that come out after a passing.  But, this one got me thinking a little bit more.   I wonder what it is for his producers, his friends to have been listening for this past year and trying to help bring his vision to life.  Constantly listening to that voice that wasn’t in the room.  Putting the music to it, moving it, getting the lyrics in the exact right place, or the place that their friend would have wanted it.   I wonder to loved ones if having to do that becomes too much for you.  Do you even get a chance to miss them when you constantly are hearing their voice.  Do you suspend your grief until the process is over and then just collapse in your feelings?

I see that in real life with people who lose people.  They invest in a road race or some type of event dedicated to their lost loved one.  To honor them for sure, but also probably to keep your mind busy and off the fact that they are gone. 

I sometimes catch myself being a piece of shit at home, just being in a bad mood and I think if I died now that would be the memory they had.  I try to fix it, leave them with a funny thing or a heartfelt moment.  I think about being 87 years old on my deathbed and talking to my family and having the perfect thing to say before closing my eyes and heading to whatever place I believe exists for my next chapter.  But, the truth is, almost no one gets that ending.  Most of us just die at a random age, random time without knowing that is what is happening.  We just don’t wake up one morning.  No goodbye, no love letters written to our tribe. 

So people are left to look for you everywhere.  To see a little heart shape made by the way the snow fell on a certain morning.  Or, like  my kids, when they lose something they pray to their Nene and it magically appears.  Little ways to bring them back to this world, your world, a world they left 5 minutes or 50 years ago. We take these as little victories, little ways that give you a smile and help you forget the last words that maybe you said to them.  Maybe the last time you weren’t at your best. 

I don’t pretend to understand grief.  Mine isn’t for you, and yours isn’t for me.  I hide behind a God I don’t really believe in, they are in a better place, they aren’t suffering anymore.  Those types of thoughts.  When all it means to me is that I have to walk around this world missing pieces of my tribe.  I write about how I carry them with me, when all I ache for is to not have to write about them.  I ache for their sound.  I can fake the feelings, right? I can see a sign they are here for a moment.  I can see them in others.  But, I can’t hear them.  So, when I listen to this cd of a person who died and I think about how lucky his friends are that they got to live with this sound that no one ever heard before, just his tribe.   I am envious of that sound.

I guess all I can say is listen when your tribe speaks.  Cherish those words they chose to speak to you.  Remember, they chose you just like you chose them.  Be as good as you can as often as you can.  Keep investing in your tribe so when you are gone they have lots and lots of different pennies, nickels and dimes to remember you by.  This life makes no sense sometimes, it ain’t fair lots of times.  But, let’s do it together, trying to make each other smile and maybe we can leave this place with just a little more love than was here before we got here.

My oldest daughter always talks about how her generation will fix the mistakes of the past.  They will brighten the future that has been slowly darkening for years.  I wonder if she knows she already started.  She turned this grumpy dude into Mr. Positivity trying to spread his smiles to however many people he can.  I can’t begin to understand global warming or how to fix damages done, but I can make you smile.  And you have to now do your part and make someone else smile.

And if you aren’t smiling yet I’ll just tell you I got a call from my 4 year old god daughter yesterday who asked me if my refrigerator was running.  And if that doesn’t work the other day she told me I had a big fat butt. 

Pass that damn smile on…. 

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