When my dad died, there was an estate auction. He did not have a will or at least anything specific to his belongings, so basically his family had no rights to anything. I am not certain I am recalling correctly, but I think my step mom told us to come over and take a few small things before they could account for them. I went over and took some of his clothes, some small trinkets and this coat rack thingy.
I don’t know why I was drawn to it. I think I just remember him taking off his watch and jewelry every night, putting it in that little tray of this rack and then taking his coolest jacket that he often wore and placing it in the hanger of this thing. I remember thinking it was cool, so I took it.
Here it is twenty-eight years later. It is one of the last things I have of his. As far as I can account, I’ve lived in eighteen different places since acquiring this rack. I have carried it around for all these years and never have used it. I always just place it in my bedroom often without even thinking about it at all. There is just something subconsciously about it.
Today, while cleaning out my storage unit I decided to throw it away. While carrying it to the dumpster it got me real emotional and all of the sudden out of nowhere this was a big deal. I had to take a picture. I had to stop and look at it and think about my father, before ceremoniously throwing it into the dumpster. It fucked with me. I can’t tell you exactly why, but it really fucked with me. It is still fucking with me.
My best guess is that I really take death hard. My mom told me on many occasions that I had the ability to heal faster than others because I can write openly about it. I used to believe that was true. I have known for quite some time that, that is bullshit. There may be something to be said for writing about something to free you of it, but I think I write about something, and then I drag it around in song for years. When I sing a song, in my mind I am back at that exact moment of whatever event I am singing about. Often I tear up during songs that I have no real emotion tied to anymore, but when I sing I’m not in the now, I’m in the past. Therefore it still feels fresh. I have people ask me how I remember words to old songs that I rarely sing. It is easy. I am not singing lyrics, in my mind I have living that moment and all I am doing is telling you about it as it plays out in my mind.
As my mom was dying, she told me again she was not worried about me, that she was more worried about my sister. My sister tends to bottle things up, to where I tend to put it out in the open. I think my sister’s methods are healthier for her, than my methods are healthy for me. That’s not to say either method works for everyone. We all have our own ways to deal with pain. I just think my way is an unhealthy avenue for me.
I have still never really dealt with my moms death and to be honest I am in some sort of weird emotional holding pattern. I’ve written many songs about it, but those do not tend to help me heal.
All I know right now is that I have a strong urge to race back to that dumpster and pull that damn coat rack out of there.