Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012 5:32:57 AM
Music is an escape. It’s an escape from the world, people, and life in general. When a million thoughts run through my mind and I cannot put them into words, I put on my earphones and find myself getting lost in a song. Music is a combination of honest lyrics playing over a deep melody. All of my favorite songs distinctly describe memories that I relive in my mind. Some memories give me a sense of serenity, while others I’d rather not remember. The song “Always Been Me” by Josh Thompson in the album Way Out Here is a song that will forever take me back to a day of my uncle’s funeral.
John was a son, a husband, and a father. Although my Aunt and cousins spent many happy years with John, he slowly drifted into a depression he tried to cope with by drinking alcohol. It did not take long for this habit to get out of control, and affect him, his family, and friends. My Aunt finally found the courage to leave John and move on with a new life. This was the last straw for John though, as he lost the will to fight his depression and decided to end his life on January 23rd, 2010.
The family was forced to make sense out of what had become of the man they once knew. For the first time, I saw my seventeen-year-old cousin cry as he and his brother blamed themselves for their father’s death. I sat next to my cousin at the funeral. Many people spoke of John in a way that described him before his addiction, which was comforting. However, the moment the song “Always Been Me” began to play there was a sense of melancholy that could be felt through out the entire room. “My last name, I'll defend it 'til I'm gone/ I try to do what's right, sometimes it comes out all wrong/ hell, I've never been an angel and I'll never claim to be/ but I've always been me” (Thompson), are the words that specifically remind me of John. He was proud to be who he was, he knew he was not perfect but he was himself.
We like music that describes the feelings we cannot put into words on our own. Songs are much like pictures, no matter how much life or people change, a song will always describe a feeling or memory that was real. It has been over a year since John died and “Always Been Me” still brings every memory back from that day in the funeral home. The song does not always bring sadness to my heart, however, because it helps me to remember John during his better years. Behind the alcohol, John was the same man my Aunt Cheryl married and the dad that his sons loved dearly. Just as he will always be himself, we will always love him for who he was.