‘All I have left of you is your absence’

‘All I have left of you is your absence’

Ever-present, tangible absence. You can feel it pressing against you, the void they leave behind fills every free space in your brain and while it hurts like hell it’s also the only thing you have left of them, the last thing connecting you to them. Getting rid of it isn’t an option. At least not for a while.

They say there are seven stages of grief, and ‘Bleach’ is about being stuck in the first four: 1. Shock and denial, 2. Pain and guilt, 3. Anger and bargaining, 4. Depression and loneliness. Not in that order though… These things are hardly ever as linear as they first seem.

I wrote the verses first. Once I’d decided on a melody I liked these came fairly easily, but the tone is frantic. It cycles through the four stages above and ends in bargaining: if I soak myself in bleach can I undo some of the damage that’s been done? If I hurt myself can I make it all better?

The chorus is more challenging. I say “is” because I change my mind about it every week so there’s every chance it’s still going to change before it’s released. I wanted to write about the idea of someone’s absence being a heavy, tangible thing that suffocates you, and the pain becoming so precious as a connection to that lost person that you want to preserve it. That concept is a bit wordy and hard to fit into a catchy chorus, it turns out.

If you want to hear how it’s sounding, I recorded a preview of the chorus when I first wrote it. You can check out by pressing that massive button below!

Bernadette DalesComment