…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.

..tempus fugit, they say,

tempus fugit, amor manet – time flies, love stays. And yes, time flies. I have no idea how the last five days passed, because it actually feels like I am not only stuck in a dark, sad, devastated emotion, but also in time. Five days since we got to know you passed away. Five days that at the same time feel like only seconds and yet years have passed. I basically can’t remember many of the things I did in the past week. I don’t remember the drives home from work, I don’t remember whom I met, whom I talked to, what I ate. It’s all caught in a grey haze, no chance to get out anytime soon or to get a clear sight.

Love stays. And yes, of course it does. Where would it go? And this is maybe one of the main reasons for grief: There is no aim anymore, no goal, no finish line it can be directed at. All the time when I could be sure that you are around somewhere, I wanted to believe that if only I sent you enough love by thinking warmly of you, it would eventually reach you. But now there’s nothing there anymore. And I am holding on to my belief that your soul will always be with us, it definitely didn’t die with your body. And yet, I still have to find that aim, a new finish line. I was used to love for 28 years straight. It was a safe love, it couldn’t hurt me or anyone else who loved you. That’s why many fans are fans: they can love unconditionally without being hurt. That has been taken from me, and, as of now, I can make the promise that a love like that will never happen to me again, ever. The love for you also always meant I would not ever been left alone or behind. You were always there for me, like a steady and calming background noise on the quieter days and a loud and energizing stage noise during the tours.

Five days in a grey haze, 28 years in a mostly pink cloud, guiding me through my life. And when I chatted with others this week, a question bothered us. Did you know? Did you know you were on borrowed time? Did you know this cruel illness would once strike back and finally defeat you? Yes, yes, I well know that those are not our questions to ask. And it’s another one I don’t want to ever hear an answer to. I don’t want to know ANYTHING.

I guess you somehow did know you were on borrowed time, though. Maybe not until 2010 or 2011, but after that.. yes. Maybe that’s why you didn’t give up touring and insisted on doing it despite the fact that your body partly refused to do what it should. And thinking that you knew makes me admire you even more. I am a bit conflicted here, because on the other hand, it also makes me feel even sadder. I think most of us thought that you really, like really and for good had defeated this illness and its long term effects and were healthy, as healthy as someone who had this treatment could be. Maybe you, too, believed this for a while. It makes the outcome even more cruel. And it doesn’t give me comfort for a second that you survived longer than anyone else with that diagnosis.
What do they also say? Time flies when you’re having fun? I tell you: Time also flies when your body consists of nothing but grief. And at the same time it – time – just stands still. The world stops while life is going on.

Amor manet!
All the best
Kirsten

…it was a bit disrespectful

.. to assume you would live forever. But you know, icons DO LIVE forever. Idols live forever. People in your life, who comfort you for almost 30 years in every situation that life throws at you, have to live forever. However, I knew, somehow, the day would come when life would prove me wrong. Because life and death belong together. I tried to prepare, I tried to get ready. But you, you were the invincible one, THE ONE. And when I thought of you in the past 1,5 years, I always imagined you sitting in your garden, watching the trees and the sun, with this lovely soft smile on your face, enjoying the mild summer wind in your hair, your loved ones around you. No pain, no fear. The pure existence. And in winter, I saw you sitting in your living room, with a fire on, someone telling a story to make you laugh, to make you feel better. I wasn’t ready to accept that you might be in pain, suffering, fighting every day. And I have all those questions in my head that I can’t say out loud, because those questions are not mine to ask, and much worse, I really don’t want to hear the answers to it. I just hope you were in a way relieved to sleep in, that it was actually helping, because I can’t really imagine you succumbing to death just like that. I refuse. And regarding this, I am still in utter denial. It is the one thing that will stay with me for a while. I refuse to think you died just like that. Because you are my ICON, my IDOL, my symbol of invincibility.

Maybe it was time to go. Maybe you wanted to go.

With love
Kirsten

Dear Marie, dear readers…

as we’ve all learned with great shock and sadness, Marie Fredriksson passed away on December 9, 2019. Surely, if we are true and honest to ourselves, we all knew this day would eventually come. But I am also fairly sure that none of us expected it to happen that fast.

I was thinking yesterday what to do with this website. I can’t give it up, I won’t give it up. I loved and adored this woman to the moon and back. And I still have a 1000 thoughts in my head, things I would have loved to tell her.

So, I decided to turn this page into blog where I will write my letters to Marie and share some of my thoughts with the internet. Feel free to comment, feel free to leave, feel free to read. Whatever suits you!

I don’t want to let this page die, just because we all know there won’t be any great news anymore. It has to live on. For Marie, for us, the fans, for her family and for her great legacy.

All the best
Kirsten

New song released: “Alone again”

Turning 59 on May 30th, Marie Fredriksson released a new song called “Alone again”. It’s a jazzy tune and she is accompanied by Max Schultz and Magnus Lindgren.

You can order the song in several digital platforms. More info here.

She also recorded an official video for the song which you can watch here:

Miracles, thankfulness, a whole new world and much affection from both sides

It’s over! 19 shows in 2 months – the solo tour of Marie Fredriksson is finished. But there are many things that feel neverending – all memories and feelings we shared on this tour stay forever. We were the first crowd that made people stand up in Luleå – at least that’s what they (the media) say.

Starting with the first show in Helsingborg mixed feelings are around – some say it was one of the best shows just because it happened, just because Marie was on stage, performing her own songs, some others missed her talking but very well knew that she seemed to be very nervous that night. In fact, Marie got more and more relaxed from show to show and it felt great to be part of that. We were there for her only, to support her and show the rest of the audience why we were there. Most of the people in the audience didn’t join our cheering and supporting and it felt like they even had problems clapping their hands. At the beginning of the tour we didn’t quite know how and if to stand up and how long. In the end we just did and nobody cared about the reactions of the Swedish people. And yes, in the end it was totally clear we would already stand up during “Kom Vila Hos Mig”, which was the second song of the set. Once, Jokke had told us that Marie feels much better when she knows we are there from the beginning and supporting her to the fullest and so it became like a secret agreement to stand up during the 2nd song. We never stopped it again since then, we kept it till the end. Sometimes we just shared a look with other fans, making a move to stand up and then we stood.

It’s hard to choose THE best show since everybody probably has their own favourite night, moment, memory – for me, in Jönköping Marie seemed to be very relaxed, talked a lot, cared less about everything else and just enjoyed herself (and maybe us). In Göteborg the audience was the loudest and the best – it was nice to see that it in fact IS possible to get people stand.

Malmö will be in the heads forever, just because Marie didn’t feel well and struggled with her leg. Oh, many would have loved to help her that night. But to see that she never gives up, never ever, that she is just going on, fighting, being strong – it shows a lot to everyone and provides a lot of strength to everyone. No, she didn’t want a chair, no, she didn’t want to stop, so she came back on socks after the break and gave her best.

These are the moments when suddenly it’s totally clear why she is such an inspiration for so many people. She is a fighter, always smiling, always going strong. And just, when everyone thought that she is somehow making it on her own (but of course with a lot of help and support of her husband!) she tells us to help her again when the next Roxette tour is on. So it happened after the last show in Umeå. First she promised that we see us soon again and then she said: “You have to help me again.” Ah, yes, we will, we so will, that’s what we try to do all the time and that’s exactly what is my personal story with Marie which I adore for 23 years now.

I remember the first show of the Night Of The Proms concerts in Antwerp. I sat in the audience, far away. The lights went down, Marie came up sitting on a stool, walking shyly to the microphone and sang. They started with  “Wish I could fly” and she must have had a little blackout back then. She repeated the first line of the song three times. I was shocked, it wasn’t the Marie I remembered. I was shocked for about 20 seconds and then it was totally clear: I wasn’t there for my own entertainment, I was there to support her and it made me buy so many tickets that I saw 16 shows in total in the end. The motivation is still the same – support, support, support, nothing else.

But back to this year, back to “Nu!” – we experienced a lot of miracles again, we got a lot of thankfulness of the band and found a whole new world ourselves. There was so much affection from both sides that it will keep us going until the next tour.

We heard a lot of wonderful new veIMG_9168rsions, Så stilla så långsamt, Bara för en dag or Den Sjunde Vågen – just to mention only a few. Every concert had its special moments. Every concert seemed to feature at least one crazy fan that decided maybe 10 hours before the show to come and support Marie, to never let this energy stop. Almost every concert brought some surprises – be it roses, lights, signs or just loud cheering. And every concert was a part of a true miracle.

If only Marie knew how many lifes she has saved throughout the years and how many lifes she turned to the better, she wouldn’t believe it. So it feels more than right to give something back, yes, exactly, to give something back. It feels good to know that it’s possible at all.

And there is one memory that stays forever – the little talk some fans had after the last show in Umeå. We finally realized that we never really thanked Micke for being the one in a million. We knew there wouldn’t be a chance to do so very soon and felt a bit sad. We said that we at least hope that he knows that we know what he is doing and the we very well appreciate it.

Last but not least we take all the wonderful memories of this tour with us – be it meetings (see mine in Umeå with Astrid), great concerts which can’t be forgotten, bad beers after the shows and a lot of nice people on the way.

Marie in “Tack för musiken”

The Swedish TV show “Tack för musiken” with Marie Fredriksson was broadcast last night on SVT. Host Niklas Strömstedt started the show with his version of “Tro”. The show has been  recorded on August 27th.

You can watch the full show here.

Marie performed I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Aretha Franklin), Sparvöga, Ännu doftar kärlek, Tro, Efter stormen, It Must Have Been Love, Den bästa dagen, Om du såg mig nu, Sista sommarens vals and Kom vila hos mig.

You can read a full report and a summary of the show on our partner site Roxetteblog.com.

Marie’s husband Mikael Bolyos was also there and played the keyboards. At some points you can certainly tell someone is still very much in love with Marie.