7 Hours and 15 Days

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Photo Copyright TMA & The Tara Chronicles

I haven’t been much for writing these days. Not terribly inspired. It sounds crazy, and maybe hard to believe, but I’ve been mourning. I really have been experiencing the typical stages of grief, from shock and disbelief to moments of extreme sadness (with tension-releasing tears), back to denial and refusal to acknowledge it in any way, to quiet acceptance, to anger over media speculation. I’ve been listening to his music, losing myself in the sound of his voice – rich and deep and sexy, soft and crooning, his emotionally-charged falsetto – the range of his music intoxicating, arousing, and dreamlike.

I’ve tried to stay away from news outlets, as I typically do, simply because I just don’t want to hear it. I don’t want to hear about the battle for his estate, the value of his fortune, what caused his untimely death – I don’t even want to hear about the vault, or others’ memories of him. I don’t want to hear other people talk about him, or his music. I don’t care what their favorite song was. I don’t want to hear some other artist singing or playing his music “in tribute.” I don’t see it as a tribute, but rather as their selfish way to make themselves relevant again, if just for a moment. I want to keep my feelings about him, and the associated memories, to myself. I’ve been listening to Sirius channel 50 a little less every day, turning instead to my personal collection of his music. I prefer to listen to full albums, from start to finish, rather than jump around the decades with attention only to the hits.

One afternoon last week while I was making an apple pie for the restaurant, I put on the 20/20 special about him that aired the day after he died. I just had to. I don’t even remember what was said in that hour, but I remember that the last song he played in his last concert was Purple Rain. How poignant it would turn out to be. Hearing that song, and seeing him seated at his piano, brought fresh tears to my eyes and that sinking feeling in my heart. I turned it off and tried to brush off this inconceivable grief for a man I never knew. Not happening. I haven’t cried, really cried, in ages. And here I was, crying like I’d lost my best friend. And then Todd came home, and wrapped his arms around me, and I fell into his shoulder and cried like I used to during that horrid custody battle.

It finally occurred to me that my grief has less to do with the tragedy of his passing, that I will never see him in concert again (which I had planned to do), that my unrealistic hope that one day I’d meet him – is gone. The grief is layered. I’m not even sure I can articulate it, yet it occurred to me that my sadness is somehow attached to Todd and that magical time when we were two teenagers falling in love. That first night alone in my room, lying on the floor listening to Controversy, For You, Dirty Mind, and Purple Rain, the music enveloping us as we dreamed away our young lives and connected to each other in a way neither one of us would ever forget. HE made that happen. Silly as it sounds, it almost feels like he took a piece of us with him when he died. Perhaps I’m grieving for the time lost. I don’t know. The physical sensation I have is one of an empty pit, that stirring dull nausea in my gut that I suddenly remembered as one I’d felt before…from breakups and lost love.

All I know right now is that it’s difficult for me to hear anything about him. I don’t want to know about some love child who just may be the sole heir to an empire we can’t even begin to imagine. Todd is more the realist – he believes it’s entirely possible. How many women do you think he actually slept with? Silly me. I’d never in a million years ever considered that he was first and foremost a rock star – a Gemini male who not only oozed pheromones, he WAS a pheromone. And today – I really don’t want to know. I am content to live inside my bubble where he was everything and perfection – unattainable and untouchable. Beyond human.

So there it is. The heartbreak, because…He was human.

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