The burial went quickly. Quicker than planned. The weather turned just before the rosary. A localised storm – affectionately recorded for posterity as Hurricane Maureen – came rolling through.
Each day, another bit of independence falls away. His piano accordion, once his faithful daily companion, is silent. Dad can barely lift it.
I listened as Kirk opened up about his former bandmate and my namesake, Michael: a man who, much like me, was a shy kid yet, much unlike me, became a global rock star.
Everyone has a playlist of pain, the songs that bring the sometimes forgotten, partly processed pieces of our past to come rushing to the surface, raw, to be felt again.
When I’d be driving, and one of ‘our songs’ came on schmaltzy radio station 2CH, I’d crank it up, sing along and think of you. I’d flash back to moments in our childhood – just the good times – imagining you in the passenger seat, singing too.
The next time Razor’s Edge played he loudly sang the line about getting a letter from Davey. I usually shut up for a few minutes. It was that line that cut me up a bit, it still does.
The nurse had downloaded the lyrics to Downtown, probably in exasperation at our feeble yet frequent attempts. Finally, we sang the song in its entirety.
Intention often gets forgotten when it comes to art and all that remains are interpretations. How others remember our insides in music or words or pictures is what survives time.
No shaking shoulders and no audible sobs for this public crying needs to be invisible for the grief mask to be effective. "Don’t let the sun catch you crying", sings Gerry with his Pacemakers.
One of my fondest childhood memories is dancing with my father to Sammy Davis Jnr singing Rhythm Of Life from the soundtrack to the 1969 musical Sweet Charity.