Onward

                       

The Bittersweet

03:51
Onward
Lucas Kirby

Story

I was in denial the day that I heard about the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. I had been extremely busy, trying to tie up loose ends to get "Onward" complete and released. 

I had been speaking to my friend, Mel, about graphics design pointers for the album as she had told me the news. The first thing I thought about were the few children in my life who had impacted me in so many positive ways. I ignored the news and tried to continue my day. 

The next morning, I woke up with the worst feeling. I knew that each one of the parents and loved ones who were connected to these children were also waking up to a new reality that they had hoped was just a dream - they'd never see their little ones again. For some reason, I became devastated. All the pain I had felt when losing connection with the child of my ex girlfriend had come back. And who was I to think of such pain, when others were facing the true bitter certainties that lye ahead?

A couple of days before the shooting, I had started working on a piece that was stumping me. I just couldn't move on to anything new or creative. It wasn't until the day after the shooting and all this emotion had come that I was able to put any true meaning to it. I sat at the piano for two days straight, hardly eating anything and not sleeping at all. For some reason, I felt obligated to write this piece for these children and all those who were effected. I hadn't cried so hard in a very long time. I could only imagine the pain that their loved ones was feeling. 

After I knew the song was complete, the feelings didn't reside. I didn't know what to do. Why was I feeling this way? I had no connection to these children and horrible things happen ever day in our world. There was just something about this particular tragedy that shook me to the core. 

I started looking up stories on the children, hoping that this would help. I then had the idea that I should make a video memorial for the children and their family's. I studied their birth dates, full names, hobbies, interests. I compiled the information and made the tribute video, which then took another day. 

After three days of hardly any sleep or any food, I had completed my tribute. The only thing to do now was to post it. I don't know what it was about this project, but the only thing that brought me peace was to get it out there for whoever needed to hear it. Once I did so, a huge burden was lifted from me. It really was quite an amazing experience. I can only hope that it reaches those who truly need it the most. 

A couple of days afterwards, I had received a call that a local news station had been trying to get a hold of me regarding "The Bittersweet". Apparently they were wanting to play the video. I gave my friend permission to give them my contact information. I never heard from them. I won't deny, I was excited for whatever possibilities may have come from this opportunity, but disappointed as well to have never received a phone call. Not necessarily because I wanted a song I wrote to be put on the news (don't get me wrong, who wouldn't?), but because my gut told me that the news was too old for them to pay any attention to it. It is proof that our society quickly forgets the tragedies that are not directly effecting them. This is the reason why history always seems to repeat itself. 

I received a lot of comments on the piece - many saying that it helped them make sense of the horrible tragedy and others saying that it brought them peace. That alone brings me happiness and that is the reason I did it. It was within those days that the company who was doing my CD printing had called me and told me that we were good to go on the print. I had been waiting for them to fix some issues before giving them the go ahead. It was perfect timing. I told them to take the last song I had put on the album and replace it with "The Bittersweet". 

It was an appropriate addition to an album that had taken many years of emotion to finally complete. There are actually two versions to the piece. The "sweet" version, which you have heard, and the "bitter" version, which I haven't decided if I want to make public yet. 

Those who lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy:

Allison Wyatt, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Avielle Richman, 6
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Charlotte Bacon, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Daniel Barden, 7
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Dylan Hockley, 6
Emilie Parker, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Jack Pinto, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Jesse Lewis, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Mary Sherlach, 56
Noah Pozner, 6
Olivia Engel, 6
Rachel Davino, 29
Victoria Soto,27
Nancy Lanza, 52

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