..ignorance is bliss!

It’s good that we didn’t know. It’s good that nobody told us. It’s good that we didn’t know what was coming. Not that any of this was any of our business, certainly not, so nobody would have told us anyway. But that’s not my point. I just learned today that ignorance is bliss. Ignorance CAN be bliss. It’s good that we don’t know when THE day is there. Not only our own THE day, but everyone’s THE day. It’s a mercy that most of us can start each day not knowing if it’s the last of everything or a first day of something new or just a regular day to forget. Bliss.

While I am certain that you had an idea of how much time you would have left, and I am sure your loved ones as well, or even clearer maybe than you, but we didn’t. And I am glad we didn’t. And if you knew, and I am just assuming that you weren’t that well anymore, what would any of us do in this state? Time runs through your fingers, you can’t stop it, you can’t seize the days anymore, all you can do is make your peace with IT, with yourself and everyone around you.

It’s a mercy to just drop dead. No overthinking, no regrets, no last goodbye. A life just ends, another one begins. And that’s another great injustice that I feel at the bottom of my heart. Knowing that you don’t have much time left, trying to fill the days with as much life as possible, being aware that this existence comes to an end. It’s unfair, it’s unjust, nobody deserves it.

This morning, devastating news reached me. A man I know went to the doctor with back pain, nothing else. He came back knowing that his body is full with cancer and he only has a few weeks left. There is no treatment that can cure him. He is dying. And he knows it. What did you do with your time? What would I do with my time if I knew that? Expecting excruciating pain, wasting away. I wonder how you did it. But knowing you as the strongest woman I have ever met, I am sure you even met this fate with a victory sign and a smile on your face.

..I wonder where you are..

I really do.
Where are you? ARE you? What are you? I am not a believer, I don’t do religion, I don’t do God, call me agnostic. That’s what I am. I don’t deny the existence of a God, but as long as I haven’t seen proof, I don’t believe it either. And, anyway, what has dying to do with it? We have physical bodies that we lose when we die, they decay, they go, they are laid to rest, to become one again with the world, with the earth, the ashes. And that’s actually a beautiful way of looking at it, at least for me. So, I want to believe that your body is one again with where you came from, where we all came from. They say that energy is never lost, so something of your existence has to be somewhere. And I wonder where that is. Is it our memories? Are you in us? Is your soul, like, floating around, watching over us, always around? Is there something like that at all? The energy can’t be lost, you know.

I don’t really believe in the concept of heaven and hell, either. Heaven is a place I can’t really imagine. It would have to be a place with trillions of souls floating around, is that even manageable? Just kidding.. ! But, wherever your soul is, wherever your energy has gone, has transformed into: You will also always be a part of me. And, as long as I live, that will never change. And that’s how all of us should look at it. As long as we remember you, cherish you, tell our tales about you, you are very much there, vivid. In the dark moments, this thought really comforts me.

Today, I miss you especially. Yes.

…. I have been busy last week!

Yes, sorry, really.. I mean, I wasn’t really busy, but I was busy denying your death. In a way. There was one night when I woke up at around 2 am and it hit me like a truck, exactly like when I heard it for the very first time: MARIE IS DEAD. I couldn’t fall asleep again and laid in my bed, wide awake, shaking, my heart racing. It was the first time after weeks when I felt the impact of your passing again.

Ironically enough, I have no problem whatsoever listening to your music. To be honest: It’s the opposite. I put all of your tracks (well, at least all I have; Roxette, solo, live, unplugged, demos, remixes, b-sides) on a USB stick and listen to your catalogue constantly since mid December. I love it!

I remember that I had some nice chats with Christoffer regarding your voice; how it became so much rougher after your illness, and how we both love this rough voice of yours, this voice that makes you know in the second you hear it that the person with this voice went through a lot. I must say, I liked that voice of yours really a lot. It was rough, but at the same time totally fragile. I listened to “Ingen kommer undan politiken” and it’s one song where you can hear that “I’ve been through a lot, I am vulnerable and yet invincible” a lot. I am so going to miss listening to new songs sung by your for the first time. There will be no first times anymore. And this is incredibly sad.

I remember the first time that I listened to “Min bäste vän”. At first I was a bit irritated about the production you and Mikael chose, then I didn’t know the songs, but the second time around I adored the joie de vivre of that album. It shines through every line, even in Aftonfalken or Här kommer natten. I will also never forget the first time I heard “Have a nice day”. I was shocked, and it took me three days to get over it. Then I grew to love it, there are some real gems on it. And your vocals are outstanding.

It’s a pity that there won’t be any first times anymore. The fascination of a first moment, a first feeling, a first though on a certain song, melody or lyrics. Your music made my life better, your music WAS a huge part of my life. And I could give you a lot of situations where I heard a special song. The connection is back immediately. Moments I will never forget again. Thank you for that!

And if you read this, you might think I am rambling. I don’t deny it, I am rambling. There is so much in my head right now, that I am not able to sort out first. I needs and wants out, and I let it. You would have approved, I guess.

…RIP means “rest in peace” for a reason!

Wouldn’t you agree? I must confess that I probably never understood the whole meaning behind those words. To let someone rest in peace. Now I totally get it. It means what it says: Let someone rest in peace. Don’t talk bad about someone who died, don’t stir up things that haven’t been stirred when the person was still alive. Don’t spread rumours, and, in your case, I think one very important thing: Don’t make money on dead people.

When you were still alive, I never imagined that disrespectful people who try to make money with your name AND death, would make me angrier than the injustice of your death itself. Guess what? It does. It started with some weird t-shirts that were advertised on Facebook not even 48 hours after the announcement of your death. I really don’t want to describe what was printed on those shirts, you definitely wouldn’t approve. I mean, who the heck wears t-shirts with the dates of birth and death of your idol on it?? And even worse: THEY COULDN’T EVEN WRITE YOUR NAME CORRECTLY.

I admit: This is a huge trigger for me. I can’t ignore it, I can’t not comment on it. It makes me so angry that I am almost losing it every time I see it. A fan site being used to sell a tambourine you gave away in 1994 just added to it. And why is that? Because you were my goddess and no one, and I mean NOBODY ON THIS PLANET is allowed to use you like that! You wouldn’t imagine how many messages I got after your death. The good ones came from people I haven’t heard from in YEARS. Some people I met on the street, neighbors, and the first thing they said, was: “I was thinking of you when I heard the news.” This is the nice part. The not so nice part are messages from people who found my website and my contact and asked me about releases, circumstances of your illness and death, how to reach your family and “stuff” like that. And then people who try to make money by using your name. I am in no place yet to accept this behaviour. And I hope I will never be. Yes, those people will always be there, but do we have to support it? No, definitely not. Too bad that you are far too precious to me to get into this toxic shit. I will always state my opinion, I will always stand my ground when it comes to you, but I must avoid any distraction from you, because in the end it is all about the important three words: REST IN PEACE. So, I want you to rest in peace. I want you to peacefully REST. May your soul find freedom and peace, may your soul be always a part of US fans, of your family, your friends, everyone who loved, admired, supported, liked and cherished you. Everyone else is seriously one of your supporters and never has been, and that’s something I bluntly state. You are too precious to me to do anything else.

So, that’s what all of us can do now: Remember to let you rest in peace. And if we come across some stirred shit on the internet, we can try to make sure that it disappears, that people realize they are WRONG. It won’t prevent stuff like that from happening, but we can try. And if we don’t succeed, we should move on, remember your pretty smile, breathe deeply and remember to grant you your peace. You earned it, you deserve it.

And I can only appeal to everyone out there: Avoid anything that seems to be making money by misusing your name. Move on after you told them that this is not right. Stay decent, be kind. And let her rest in peace.

…there are a lot of missed opportunities!

I got the impression in the nine years when we have met several times, that you haven’t been a woman who missed opportunities or easily let them pass while standing by and doing nothing. And with you, I sometimes learned to see an opportunity and take it. Most often at least. It is all about living NOW, HERE. I didn’t always succeed, and I feel it now that you are gone. I remember specifically a night in Stuttgart in 2011, I think. You had a concert on Neckarsulm and at night drove all the way back to your hotel in Stuttgart. We had a feeling and followed the bus. It wasn’t the shortest drive in the world, so when we finally saw you arriving at the hotel, we saw that it was already past midnight, close to 1 am. We – four fangirling women in a car – were hesitating if the time was right to approach you. Back then we didn’t know about the apparently new rule “no pictures after the concerts”, but we hesitated anyway. Well, one of us had the guts to approach Per, who walked out of the bus almost directly after the doors had opened. He refused to take a photo, but then he saw us, thought about it again and agreed. I took the photo, because I couldn’t bring myself to be on it. He was clearly tired and I felt bad to bother him, especially since I knew I would meet him the next day for an organized meet and greet at the next concert.

However, in the back, something weird happened. You strolled out of the bus, a bottle of beer in your hand. And you looked to your right, where we were standing, checking the photo with Per, who just had left to go inside. You were walking so slowly that we could have approached you like ten times with no hurry and the looks you gave us clearly indicated that you WANTED to be approached. But we just couldn’t, even if we kind of agreed afterwards that you were totally waiting for it, and you probably would have even wanted and liked it. So we let you go. And today I think: Yeah, that was SOME missed opportunity. It wouldn’t have changed anything in my life, but it would have changed the moment, and maybe another moment, and a moment after that. And I know that you and I agree on the fact that life is about moments. This example in Stuttgart is just one of many when I didn’t dare approaching you. I was in awe, so please excuse me ignoring you. Trust me, I didn’t.

I wonder how many missed opportunities you gathered in your life. This morning, when I drove my new dog to the vet, I was listening to some Roxette tunes and I got angry again. Not at you, but at fate. I suddenly got the feeling that you had not sung enough. Your voice needed more melodies, more songs, more singing. You never reached a peak, that’s what I have always been saying. You could have sung so much more, so many beautiful songs. And you never got the chance. So, even if you disagree on this, I think this is definitely a missed opportunity.

And what I learn from this train of thoughts – basically another thing that your existence taught me, brought me, and leaves me striving for: Cherish the moments, make the best of each moment you get. And if you are afraid something might turn out wrong, do it. Now more than ever! It is probably worth it. And if turns out to be a bad decision: Life is also about bad decisions.

So, this day leaves me thinking that I would have loved to hear some cover versions sung by you: some Beatles tunes, some other 60’s tunes, some beautiful ballads and bluesy songs. And most of all I regret that you haven’t been able to write some music on your own anymore, because, honestly, even if large parts of the fandom would disagree, your own songs were the most intense, of course. You proved it with Sista Sommarens Vals, even when there was nothing to prove anymore. Thank you!

..gratitude has taken over!

I haven’t written for a couple of days now, because I was on a rescue mission. I guess you would have approved, but who knows, right? My brother and I drove 3200 km in 46 hours to save two dogs. As you can imagine, I was a bit tired afterwards, and I still am. But the dogs are fine at least.

Two weeks without you we are already. I must admit that I can’t say I miss you more than I missed you the 3,5 years we didn’t see you or hear from you before. You were just gone, just as you are now. And maybe that was a clever thing to do. We – the fans- shouldn’t remember you as a weak, sick woman who will eventually have to succumb to this illness. You wouldn’t have wanted it, and trust me, we wouldn’t either. I became aware of that suddenly: The way you should be remembered.. striking a pose, celebrating life, celebrating your passion, singing, on stage. I promise I can do that.

The last time I saw you was on Vienna airport after the concert in Vienna in 2015. You weren’t in a good condition, and back then I already said to my friend Patricia, who was travelling with me, that this tour is over now for me, not only the tour, but the whole journey, because I am not able to stand that view, to see you weak. It was painful. And it was my end, our end of a 24 year long journey.

I had some weird encounters by the way. People who don’t understand being a fan also don’t understand my grief, my mourning. They can’t even grab the fact that a person is able to love a human being without knowing them at all or well or a bit. But I guess I knew you a bit. They don’t understand that you can just love someone like that, for what they appear to be, a role model, an idol. And that’s what many of us did. Those are the people I am in contact with the most now. Everyone else lives outside this bubble, outside our world. And it is actually totally pointless to try to explain it to them. I gave up on it.

You will forever remain my number one. Nobody ever will replace you. And that’s one of the many things that will always make you the most special person in my life. That’s something, right?

…there is this guy I know…

and I am pretty sure you have seen him once or twice. He is in his sixties, but not looking a day older than 52, I’d say. Love hit him when he was around 33 or 34. It was a big love and he became a father very soon after falling in love. Then he got married and his wife had another child. In between, they hit the road, because his wife was a popstar at the time, which means that she had to travel the world with her partner in the duo she formed. So, he followed around, taking care of the firstborn, the second child, a boy, hadn’t been born then. You could tell by the way he looked at his wife that he really loved her. And when you saw how she looked at him, then you knew that those two had found something bigger than life. He was a musician, too, just not as well-known or famous or rich. But, at least on the outside, he didn’t seem to care a lot. He carried that burden like it was nothing, and I doubt it’s easy for any man to live in the shadows.

He was the kindest guy I ever met, he understood how important fans are, he was always trying to meet his wife’s needs and her fans’. And it often worked perfectly.

When they had their second child, she decided it was time for a break. Together, they produced a solo album of hers, he did the arrangements, and to the day it is my favourite album, even if the rest of the world thinks that the one she had released before that was her best ever. I loved the guy almost as much as I loved you.

Then his wife got sick, seriously ill. Sounds familiar? Their children had just turned 9 and 6. He took care of them and his wife. I am pretty sure that it was the hardest and at the same time the easiest thing he ever did. He helped her to push through and despite every prognosis she survived. And when she was healthy again, she decided it was about time to hit the road once again. Maybe for the last time. So, again, he packed his suitcases and followed her. It was the only thing he knew, the only right thing to do. While she was sick, he managed even to release a solo album of his own. It’s actually a quite underrated record, I must say. Well, if you find a copy here or there.. buy it. It’s called “A family affair” and I recommend the tracks “Lilly” and “What am I supposed to do” especially.

A decade later, his wife’s health began to fail once again. This time it was clear that there was nothing to prevent it. They could slow it down, but not stop it. Once again, he took care of her, he was there when she needed him the most. Well, to be honest, all I am writing here is just an impression I got from the outside. I don’t know how everything was on the inside. But a man that stands by his woman for 17 years, that not always have been easy and light, that means something. I admired his strength, his love and the way he was able to also take care of himself.

Dear Marie, what can I say? The story doesn’t end well. His wife died eventually. She fought as long as she could, and now he’s alone. The children are grown up, there’s nothing left to prove. And for a few days now, this man is constantly in my thoughts. I wonder how he is doing, what he is doing, how he is holding up, if he saw it coming for a long time. I feel for him, and my love and compassion for him is pouring out of me in a way I didn’t expect.

And you know what? All I wish for him at this point is to find happiness again one day. To receive love, support, understanding – exactly like he was able to give to his wife. To you. I want him to wake up one morning and be free, light, glad, grateful and ready for his life. It won’t be too soon, maybe, but it will come! Because he deserves it.

..we hoped for something else…

and you know that, right? First of all, we wanted you to live forever, of course. Healthy, peaceful, with lots of love, good food and blessful moments to remember. When we realized that we wouldn’t get that, we hoped that you at least would get old enough to say that your life has been lived. We actually never figured you off stage.

I remember one chat right before your solo concert in Jönköping in 2014. It was a Friday night and we were giddy. Two concerts ahead, another weekend filled with friends, joy and MOST OF ALL YOUR VOICE! You know that sometimes, during your shows, I just sat there and listened with my eyes closed. IN THE FRONT ROW. Others would have maybe wanted to hit me for that, but all I needed in these moments was your voice. Especially during my favourite song of all times, Det Regnar Igen. And I remember the feeling I had when you played it in Helsingborg, on your opening night. I felt so blessed that I got to hear it live. At last.

Well, however, back to Jönköping. There we stood, waiting to get inside, talking, excited. And we wondered how you could actually ever be without the stage. We just couldn’t imagine and we made some bad jokes about it. Like… someone pushing you on stage in a wheelchair, microphone in one hand and the other doing a victory sign and a bright grin on your face. And since we knew that your walking wasn’t the best at that time already, we invented kind of stage treadmill which would bring you from one side to the other – and a walking frame in front of you. We laughed, we were so happy. It wasn’t because of the jokes, but because of the fact that we were there, about to see you on stage that night, convinced that this glorious feeling would never end. The joy of seeing you on stage, the joy of being in your aura, being part of your aura, having our batteries refilled. Because that’s – among many other things – what you could. You could recharge batteries just like that.

That night in Jönköping felt so light, it felt so natural for us, too. We came for what we were – also – born for: following you around, like paper and glue. You do very well know that we had this kind of symbiosis from the beginning. You needed us and we needed you, and for probably all of us something like this will never happen again. It was once in a lifetime. And please forgive us our jokes, but I know you would have laughed as well.

..you know, it’s a bit curious and funny, actually..

.. in my more rational moments, I am actually asking myself what I expected? Another miracle healing? You being healthy again just like that? Able to walk, full sight, no loss of memory, everything as it was pre 2002 or maybe just pre 2013/2014? Not really sure, but only this and my high hopes for a miracle to happen can be the reason for the amount of sadness, loss and grief I feel now. I guess most of us fans knew this wouldn’t happen. You had retired, and all I wished for you was to have a looooong and splendido time at home with your loved ones around you. Yet, the outcome of what brought you down in the end was to expected. Nothing else but that. And I really can’t get over it now. I can’t wait for the moment I will tell my tales about you to people I care about. With a smile on my face, with a loving look back on my past, our past together. Right now, I can’t. I am sad, I am fucking sad, that you had to succumb to this shitty disease. And I am still waiting for gratefulness to fully take over all negativity in me.

Today, someone asked how long it will take for me to finally be done grieving. I was quite shocked. I mean, it takes as long as it takes. And you were closer to me than many many, like actually almost ALL PEOPLE on this planet. You were my safe haven, my place to go for my heart and my mind when storms threatened to blow me off my feet. You were always there. And I tell you what: A week is not nearly close to be DONE grieving.

The days, now, after a week of knowing, have turned into one gigantic grey fog. I can’t see anything inside or on the outside. And I don’t care, eventually the fog will let me see again, just not now. And then, that someone asked me what I will do (or how I think I will grieve) when my parents die. Well, guess what, you were just as important to me as they are! You still are. You never were someone, never just the pop star on a poster. We met, we talked, I knew you and you knew me. I got to know your family, your wonderful husband who is in my thoughts all day. You never were just a pop star, you were part of my family. And you continue to be.

..have you ever heard of the five stages of grief?

Apparently, a study found out, decades ago, that human beings go through five stages of grief. They have a significant order. First, there is denial, then there is anger, followed by bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I have experienced grief before, but never as much as I do now. And that, probably, makes me a lucky person, because when I honestly tell you that they day of your death (or rather of the press release of your death) was the worst day in my life, I can say I have lead a good life up to that day, with little losses and less pain. And I think it’s true. My heart has been broken, I cried a lot, I lost my dog after 11 years together, I grieved then, too. But never as I do now. Yet, what is exactly the same: There are no five stages of grief for me. I experience them all in no particular order at the fucking same time. One minute I am in denial, then I am getting angry, followed by a brief moment of acceptance, before I try to bargain and get angry again. There are moment during the day when I forget shortly that you passed. And then, when I remember, it hits me like a truck again. The hit and the aftermath of that hit is getting weaker, but it still hurts like hell.

People might wonder why I am angry. Well, I am angry at you, of course. Grief is such a selfish thing. After a few days I always realize that it’s not you I am grieving for, I grieve for myself to have lost you. A huge piece has been taken off my existence, my being me, my body, my heart. Where there once was you, there is a big black hole now, and that’s what I am grieving for. Furthermore, I know you are in a better place now. You fought for so long, you overcame the illness, you did so many beautiful things in the years you had left – there is no reason to bemoan your passing for the sake of YOU. So, yes, it’s selfish. And I am angry that you left us here, without a word, without a smile, without waving goodbye. How dare you? Well, you know what I mean… it’s not WHAT I mean. Just a feeling that gets replaced by bargaining or depression very quickly.

At least the tears have subsided mostly – for now. There is just this huge black hole inside of me. I haven’t laughed since Tuesday, not whole-heartedly, I don’t feel like meeting people and listening to their problems, I want to wallow in self-pity and feel depressed. For now.