Loss is a terrible thing. Devastating really if it’s someone we truly love. Jim formed a friendship with an amazing girl while recovering in a Belfast clinic.
Gigi (we will call her that) was a mother, teacher, musician, dancer and much more. Between therapy sessions, they would steal away to play the communal piano, sing, smoke, share stories. They formed a bond, while trying to get better. Outside a facility, it gets harder. You need to stay away from old friends and habits. Jim kept in touch. They took walks, listened to music, listened to his music.
They became close. Tried to support each other. Jim told me about their relationship. I was happy for him. Not so other people. Gigi’s family thought she would do better if Jim wasn’t in her life. They both agreed to separate. And that’s where the story should end. Both trying to move on. I spoke to Jim for hours. He was devastated and struggled to come to terms with his new reality.
In early November he tried to get in touch. Called at her apartment. No answer, no sign of life. This was the day of her funeral. He didn’t find out for another two weeks. Devastation turns to despair.
We both watched her funeral online. I agreed to take him to the grave, something we still haven’t done.
Jim wrote Gigi very quickly upstairs in his bedroom. The room we used back in the 90s to compose most of our songs.
He played me a rough version and I dropped everything and went into the studio to record it.
“Don’t fuck it up”, was my main thought. It would be easy to overproduce.
I think I did a decent job. It’s a great tribute and memorial to Gigi.
Jim is still trying to come to terms with his loss. It's a bit twee to say “great art comes from great pain”, but in this case, I think it's true.