Monday, April 26, 2010

What Sarah Said Part One: Why I'm Here

{This is the first part of a four part series based on the song What Sarah Said by Death Cab for Cutie.}

I have a new love and its name is Death Cab for Cutie. Perhaps that seems an odd statement for a blog about losing the love of your life. Perhaps it's even bordering on blasphemous. Yet there is it is, I've fallen in love with a band.

That's not an entirely accurate statement; I've fallen in love with their music. It's beautiful, reflective, poetic. Their mellow music soothes while I write of the pain and horror my characters experience in my novel Chosen. The lyrics are also poetic; when I feel writer's block I listen to the words accompanying melodies that flow through my mind. Simple, yet so descriptive. A single line about absolutely nothing at all can mean so much.

Yesterday, I listened to the words of their song What Sarah Said, from their Plans CD. I wondered how the meaning of the song had escaped me during the scores of times I had heard it. The words so simple and direct are about losing someone you love to death.

The song bubbled so many feelings, so many memories to the surface and I realized-- I have lived this song. The knowledge brings me to my knees. Someone else knows. Someone else understands what I've been through. Sometimes that's the greatest comfort of all. I often wonder why this blog is here and then out of nowhere something hits me, a song, a memory, and then I know. Someone in pain needs to know that someone else knows what they are going through. Someone understands. I will never meet them. I probably won't even know their name. They will leave an anonymous comment thanking me for expressing how they feel, fresh in their grief and I will cry for them. Real tears full of empathy wishing I could comfort them somehow, but the reality is that I already offered them the only comfort I have. I have survived. And so will they. The road is full of unbelievable agony but they will get through it. I am proof.

I have found myself listening to the song over and over again. Its a blessing and a curse and I accept them both equally. The entire song haunts me but the second to the last line takes my breath every time I hear it.

Love is watching someone die.

Watching your best friend die, the only person who ever really knew you, is surreal but it is also a gift.

I have been blessed.


What Sarah Said

And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU that reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself that I'd already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD took you a little farther away from me
Away from me

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines in a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds
But I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground as the TV entertained itself

'Cause there's no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
But I'm thinking of what Sarah said that "Love is watching someone die"

So who's going to watch you die?.

**This blog post has a companion post on my writing blog Denise Swank, author in progress