Almost exactly a year ago, my favourite musician died.
John Martyn was 60 when he died - a miraculously grand age for someone who lived the life that he did, but it was far too young for those of us who loved his music (and, of course, for his family and friends). His music plays pretty much every day in my house, my car, where I work, on my iPod when I'm walking and often in my head, and has done for more than 20 years. His music featured heavily in my courtship with my now-husband. His music played at my wedding and I want it played at my funeral. If we ever manage to have a child, his music will play at their naming ceremony.
I saw him in concert four times - I wish it had been more. When I was very, very low and extremely anxious after my sixth miscarriage, my father's cancer and two serious health scares of my own and was off work and housebound with fear and misery, one of his concerts was the only thing that managed to get me out - not only out of the house but out of the city - and got my life moving again. I saw him in concert again, just after my last spectacular IVF failure that left me on blood pressure medication. Both of these times, I was taken out of my infertility orbit and managed to spend a bit of time just being me and being happy.
I was supposed to see him play again, in March last year, in a tiny, intimate venue, but on January 29th he died. I can honestly say that I have never mourned so much for a person I hadn't actually met - except for the babies that never were. For about a month, I was under a big, dark cloud, broken only briefly by the light of my 40th birthday celebration, which came a week after his death.
Maybe it's because it's January and the darkest, most depressing time of the year; maybe it's because the last member of the oldest generation of our extended "family", my honorary grandmother, is dying; maybe it's because, once again, I am surrounded by people succeeding where I have failed in the reproduction department; maybe it's because I'm waiting to start a donor egg cycle (if my sm*ear results come in OK, which I'm worried about, because I bled when they took it and because, well, I worry); maybe it's because it's nearly the first anniversary of John Martyn's death; maybe it's all of these things, but I am feeling desperately in need of an experience like the ones I had at those concerts of his.
I need to be reminded that I can enjoy life, even with the big hole in it where my children should be. I can, can't I?
Out of the closet: Postscript
2 days ago