The first time ever I heard a Roxette song was in 1989. I remember the day like it was yesterday. And it’s actually one of very few memories that are very very clear. I stood in my brother’s room who had just purchased a copy of Look Sharp! When I had entered the room, the second song of the album just started playing. It was, as you know, Dressed for Success. I was either 7 or 8 years old, and I remember that I started to move to the music and I was captivated already then by your unique voice. I loved it. But I wouldn’t declare myself a fan at that point. I remember that after that day I forced my brother to play that song over and over again – for weeks. Until I heard some other tunes and loved them equally. It was three years later, though, before my head realized the connection to a band called “Roxette”. Until then, they were just tunes I loved.
Then, a few years later, I got my first CD player for Christmas. And some months later, I bought myself the Joyride album for my 10th birthday. It was the time when I realized that it was the same band who had given me Dressed For Success. I put on the CD and was very quickly tired of the title song. Hotblooded was probably not made for a 10 year old, either. But when I listened to Fading Like A Flower, I was done. I never made it further for months. The only song I listened to for weeks and months was Fading Like A Flower. I listened to it so many times that my mother started me asking me if there aren’t any other songs on that CD. There were, but I didn’t care. I became a fan, and a few weeks into my obsession with “FLAF”, I bought a Roxette Joyride poster at a local store and hung it up the wall with poster strips. You were on it, shining, blonde, strong, mighty. I fell in love with you. You provided a safety, that my home couldn’t give me. My parents’ break up didn’t go well with me. Fear of loss, fear of being abandoned again washed over me, but you where there, providing safety. A certainty that you will never leave me, never ever. You were just there, and you would be forever.
Until I learned that you wouldn’t. And I learned that this part of my grief is anger. You abandoned me, like I was sure you never would. You were my safe haven, my place to turn to when the rest of the world wouldn’t. It’s irrational, I am 38 years old. But as soon as that feeling of loss comes back again, I am immediately 10 years old, standing in my room, looking up at you on my poster. And I am getting angry at you for not keeping the promise you never made.
You were with me for the better part of my life, 28 years of 38 years. And you have always been there for me, and guess what: You didn’t even know it. You didn’t know you were there when I suffered another anxiety attack, when I lost friends or family. But you were, and now, I know, your music, your giant legacy always will, but you are gone. I feel like hovering over an empty space, no place to land, nowhere to go, nowhere to turn to. Yes, I am grieving for myself, for my 10 year old self who thought could change the world by turning a simple woman with a great voice into an icon.
Today, a week after we went to Göteborg, and 49 days after your passing, I feel emptiness, anger and melancholy. And I also realized the past days, that I never really grieved for someone before in my life. That makes me a happy person. Or it says a lot about how I protect myself from being hurt. You could. You were probably the only person on this planet who could hurt me that much by leaving this world. And you did. And I am freaking 10 years old again.