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05.18.17 Power Electronics12.17.16 Secondhand Grief
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Secondhand Grief

I would normally do an EOTY list, but quite frankly, I’ve had neither the time nor the energy. I was married in June of this year to a lovely lady, but we were blindsided by the death of her mother just short of two months into our marriage. The following are the albums that helped me through that time. My mother-in-law was rather a nasty individual, readily holding grudges and playing victim wherever she could, acting passive aggressive at the most inopportune times, and engaging in emotional abuse whenever she wanted to get her way. She became a saint after she died. My wife suddenly became very cold, blaming me for not wanting to immediately move in with her dad, threatening divorce on several occasions, and refraining from all acts of affection for months. While there are countless pieces of art discussing personal grief, the witness gets very little attention, and this is what this list is devoted to—those whose misery is justifiably left by the wayside in favor of another who is grieving. Along with each album is a lyric (if applicable) and a short poem describing the album’s significance and what I was dealing with. Thank you for reading, and thank you for the support you offer.

On the afternoon of July 30th
I sat on the browning faded lovelessseat

And fell into the void
As sifting eyes dripped water

Over a wretch, a fucking wretch
Drops of whiskey, and the wasted son and devastated daughter
Emerge from the barrel of a loaded gun to reap what’s been sown

The emptiness in mother’s eyes
11Kate Rusby

“Broken seems a solemn bird, but when she sings she’s always heard.”

Mourned something
Remembered nothing

But what are we but forgotten
After we forget

After the music fades, the record cracks
When it’s all been said and done

Lost in the abyss
The landscape of scorch
Where I am sheltered under nihilistic wings
Where I am blissfully forgotten

Punishing walls of dust
A faith devoid of life

Where I simply can be if I’m allowed
9Knuckle Puck

“I built my guard up to the clouds. Because of you, I’ve been reduced from high-rise windows to stepping-stones."

“Silhouettes on the ceiling; I’ve been much better but at least I’m healing. You know I haven’t slept since you left but for me that’s progress.”

A word reduced to a series of harsh snaps
I am emptied into grief’s relentlessly crashing ocean

I think we’re going to break up
Take a drive take a smoke

Just learn to let me go
Blazing blue eyes bleeding

What is left of us
What is left of me

Only to be the crimson décor of a hurtling train

“Hell is what you’re putting me through”

Breaking my lungs
Leather shaking in the screams
At a resounding steering wheel

Am I forgotten?
Heaven is what you make it

But it’s a heaven without fucking

“I’ll never know what it means, this deadly calm inside.”

The crackling sound of the record
That I should have received for my birthday
A lonely echo in the makeshift dining room

I am finally alone, finally lonely
In the belly of this horrible machine
6Trophy Eyes
Chemical Miracle

“I was never scared of dying alone until I knew what it was like to have a home.”

Am I flesh
Am I bone
Morose cold shoulders

Am I lost of compassion
I am only numb to home
5Fit for a King

“Would you even notice if my world was falling apart? Would you even care if my heart stopped beating?”

Irony isn’t it
The wretch’s heart stopped beating

But if my numb words squeal in our cold house
I am scorned

And brought down to shit and ashes
4Mist of Misery

Cold and scathing rain
Blessed light in the frozen soil

Where is my soul
In the hole you created

For my undue punishment
3Casting Crowns
Casting Crowns

“Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name, would care to feel my hurt?”

I remember when I stood for something
Instead I’m so goddamn tired

Salvation, sanctification rises
And is tipped by crushing contempt

I’ve forgotten how to care
Let alone as Christ did
2Upon a Burning Body
Straight From The Barrio

“You can’t break me ‘cause I’m already broken.”

Heavenly brokenness
I am filled to the brim
With cold

A cracking vessel
Dripping white-hot liquid
Across seas of endless books

I have lost
And I am gone
1August Burns Red

“The walls of a church don’t make it holy.”

When I stood for something
I have hardened my heart
As Pharaoh refusing to let my people go

And felt the sting of melodies in the wake of pigs

Is that what hope feels like
A sting
A bite
A revolting pain, a cancer

A dripping drug I fucking crave

She hugged me
And all I felt is stinging exhaustion
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