Why And Why Not
It has been an absolutely shitty year for death in the music industry and it’s just mid March.
The latest, a couple days ago was Keith Emerson of ELP. Yeah sure, you can call them Emerson, Lake and Palmer if you like but not many people I know do.
I’m not going to get in to naming names as I’d surely miss a couple and someone would take great delight in telling me about it. I’m not going to get in to the contributions to the art of those that have passed either.
To all those that went away, they mattered to each and every one of us in our own way. That is enough for us and I believe knowing they touched us is enough for them too.
The icons we grew with that have been such an important part of our lives all the way along the path of life and now in to the backside of our own lives are falling. We miss them and we remember the pieces of ourselves and our lives that they were part of. No, they didn’t for the most part know first personal of each of us but they damn well knew what they meant to us.
Keith Emerson’s passing has a far different feel for us because it was suicide. The range of emotions is greater and rawer within us when death is self inflicted. The things people say are rawer when death is brought on by our own hand.
Some say heartless and hurtful statements. I disagree to a point. The point is there are those who look to be hurtful and thankfully the hurtful ones are few.
So very many that make what others call heartless and hurtful are in reality expressing how they feel suffering their own loss. I can see the statements as thoughtless but not heartless. I can see those hurtful statements as striking back because what you did hurt me.
What I’ve heard and read about Keith Emerson’s physical being, degenerative arthritis where he’d already lost the use of 2 fingers and for certain was going to lose the use of all his fingers. Could he have written? I’m sure he could have written. I’m just as sure no one would be able to play just from the written music the way Emerson heard it.
I and many know about chronic pain and degenerative. I know the pain and anguish. I know how useless I’d feel were I not able to write. I can understand completely being able to do something oh so very well and then not being able to do it anymore. I don’t think I could bear to lose the word my way.
A few comments I’d seen on the suicide said, “Selfish”.
I said this;
His life, like anyone else, to do with as they choose. You don’t get a vote. The emotionalism attached to any pain is 100% real.
A damn tragedy yes. Could it have been prevented? No one will ever know and have to believe because he didn’t reach out, no. No more than the breaking down of his body. I think he’d reached the point where he wasn’t asking himself why and was asking why not.
Why and why not? Many and I am one of them will tell you, when you find yourself asking yourself why take your own life you have a problem. When you stop asking “why” and start asking yourself, “why not” you are in much deeper trouble. I hope if you ever find yourself in that, “why not” place you find it somewhere within yourself to reach out for help.
I use a music service and have a few playlists. One of those playlists I named, “Soulful” and ELP’s “Lucky Man” is the first tune in the list. It is both tragedy and irony that Keith Emerson’s went as he did. The end of life mimicking his own art. A bullet found Keith Emerson well before the bullet from the gun did, “no money could save him, so he laid down and he died”.
G.R. Hambley ©
March 14, 2016
Thank you, Gary. May he rest in peace.
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And thank you.