..I tell you how it happened!

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.

…at first I was waiting for you.

But you didn’t come. Then I realized you wouldn’t come, because you will never come again.

Yes, I attended a concert for you. I imagine that you already know that because you watched from wherever you are. I think you would have approved. Many of your friends were there. They sang for you. We remembered you. We cried. A lot. And we laughed when things went wrong and had to be repeated. You know, Christoffer assembled this, kind of, and I am not sure if I can blame him, but you know what? They chose to start with TRO. I tell you, the piano started, the girl hadn’t even started to sing yet and I felt tears welling up. Then she sang the first word, TRO, and most of us were done. The gates were wide open, we cried, freaking three minutes after the concert started.

And as the evening went on, I realized that you wouldn’t come out at some point, waving, your hands in the air, showing a victory sign or a thumb up, no laugh on your face, because there was no face. You wouldn’t be there to grab a microphone and show everyone that you can sing your songs very well alone. You wouldn’t be there to come on stage and receive a freaking lifetime award for your craft, your music, your work, your LIFE. And that was what hit me the most, what hurt the most. We ran out of miracles, there won’t be another miracle anymore. No sudden healing, no surprising appearance on a small stage in Amsterdam. You just left and this evening was our chance to say goodbye. And here I am, back into grieving, because I have no idea what farewell, what goodbye means. Will I forget you? Will you be there with me until the very end? Did I wave enough to make sure it IS a good-bye? Can I just refuse to let you go? Can I?

You would have loved many of the acts on that January night in Göteborg, few of them maybe not. Personally, I must say that it showed me that you sang your songs best, of course. They all did a great job and you could tell that everyone there gave their whole heart and the best they could. That made it all so special. Everyone in this theater came with love for you and your music. And that turned it into a magic evening. I am so grateful I could be there, grateful to be a part of this, still. Grateful that I could talk to the band and meet people I have met as many times as I went to concerts, but now probably will never see again. 28 years of my life passed me by in a haze. And I am not even 40 yet.

While you always saw yourself on a table in the sun with a bunch of roses and described it as your ultimate place and moment of peace, I want to believe you are somewhere, watching over us, with a smile on your face and a beer in your hand. Always a beer in your hand. And always a sweet tune on the tip of your tongue.

No, I can’t say good-bye just yet. Here I am, planning another tattoo, another picture on the wall, another blog entry, another letter to you. I am not ready yet.

..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.