Saturday, February 7, 2015

How music can change a life, and send you on the path you were supposed to be from the very beginning...

This entry is featured in a book about Marillion and their fans. 

In the spring of 2013 I went to my first ever Marillion weekend. I travelled alone, and felt like I was going to meet destiny. Was I ever right? It just didn’t happen it the order I anticipated.
           I met my friends at the Moon Under The Sea, or Sun Under The Moon, I could never get the name right (The Moon Under Water), and suddenly I was a part of something quite amazing. The pub became a sort of base camp for the people I hung out with, and I met so many new friends, and wonderful human beings. Among them was a smiling man. I remember thinking he seemed nice, but in a friend kind of way, as he was there with his significant someone, and I had a partner at the time (he was ill, and couldn’t make it to Wolverhampton). I just marvelled in the part where I made so many new friends, little did I know that I would call one of them the love of my soul. And little did we both know the grief and horror we would go through before the nice picture was a reality. I’m actually glad neither of us knew, as what was ahead of us was loss, trauma and death.
           This wonderful weekend of music and friends was a safe haven of something I have never found anywhere else. And the concert on Saturday, Brave night, was Out Of This World, and going back to the ordinary life was painfully difficult. And on the bus back to Heathrow, I must admit tears were running, and all the beautiful faces of friends forever were flashing before my inner eye.

That autumn I got engaged to my partner. I hadn’t been together with him for that long, but I realise now that he was in a hurry to live, and I said yes. He did warn me, he said: I could die. And I said: Well, we have no guarantees. But he knew what he was talking about, and on the 20th of December, after having sat by his hospital bed for a long, long week, Pete died. I remember sitting down in front of the computer having to share the news with our Marillion family, they had all followed his illness from the side, so I felt I owed it to them to let them know. But in all my writing days, that message was the hardest I have ever had to compose.
            The support I got from the Marillion family was overwhelming, and so touching, that it helped me in those first horrible days. I got a message from Carolyn, she sent me her condolences… and then, a few days later, on the morning of December 26th, Trevor posted a similar message on Marillion and fans to the one I had posted on the 20th. Carolyn had passed away… And there we were. Both of our futures were ripped away from under us, we were left numb. But something good happened in the middle of the terror. I got a message in my inbox from Trevor, and we started talking. We shared the worst moments in our lives, and nobody knew as well as he did how I really felt. Nobody knew as well as I did how he really felt.
            In the beginning of our correspondence, it was all about helping the other one to survive, to see some sort of light in the darkest tunnel we had ever been in. How to sleep, how to ever find the courage to go back to work and university, how to survive the images of people’s final moments without entering into a nightmare state of mind, and having him there for that was certainly my lifeline.

But then things started to change. The people around us, friends of both Pete and Carolyn, probably thought things happened too fast. But not to us…we had been through the war together, we had been through the longest months of our lives together. We lived with the blinking images of final moments, the ringing of someone’s last words, the thoughts of whether or not we could have done or said something differently, and January and February seemed endless. We spoke together almost every day, and when you have someone who understands what you’re going through like that, it truly is the most special feeling in the world. He really knew what I was going through, he could relate to all the new emotions raging through my mind, emotions thankfully most people don’t ever have to relate to.
So, in the beginning of March, I knew that I really wanted to meet Trevor properly, and not just talk with him on Facebook chat. We both knew that doing something none of us ever had done before, like a leap of faith, was becoming a reality. And we leapt. He got on a plane and came to see me in Norway. And on the 18th of March, we found the love of our souls, we suddenly had a future again.
            We know that the people we lost died while we still loved them. We know that it will never be a non-topic to talk about them with each other. We know that we still will remember the trauma we both went through, but we will do so together.
            I have never met a man like Trevor, he is kind and sweet, intelligent, funny, in touch with his emotions, and so strong, stronger than I think he knows himself.

This summer we went on a holiday together. We drove to Devon and Cornwall, saw Tintagel, among other places… and in the car we listened to all of Marillion’s studio albums, we sang along, loudly, sometimes slightly out of tune, but always completely convincing, and we had so much fun. It is hard to pinpoint one specific song, when all the songs, all the albums, have served as a back drop to our lives; to the drama, to the trauma, to the grief, to the fun and to the love we share. We are true Marillionaires, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Now we are both looking forward to two Marillion weekends together in 2015, and hope to see both old and new friends.