Heading 1

Nature Strikes Back 

Reassuringly Certain

I have never feared death. Fear, uncertainty and unpredictability
are parts of life, whereas death is an indisputably reliable fact.


On September 21st 2013, my brother stepped off a station platform in front of a train.
This time he had to be absolutely sure. 

The suicide of a sibling changes everything. It legitimises the act. It suddenly seems like a much more reasonable course of action than it did before. In the devastating and complex psycho-emotional pain that follows, this is very dangerous. Especially if you are alone. Death remains as certain as ever but now there is an awareness of agency, that on the bad days verges on compulsion.

Get through that and you find you have no choice but to negotiate an accommodation with optional death. This I have done. On the good days it has become almost comfortable. Companionable. Like a physical other internally attached with whom I continue to exchange views on an option I seem to have little choice but to reserve.  That doesn't mean I'll take it, but being aware of it keeps me in charge of the situation. Talking about it keeps me safe. 

Time may change this. And time needs checking in with every now and again to see how things are going. It is now 4 years since my brother's suicide and this is what I have learned:  Elegy Project Blog: 4 years on....

Elegy project death dying Valerie Grove Artist
Interior with seated woman and nonchalant death
   Julie by Esther Neslen


Prelude to Suite No. 1 in G major
Johann Sebastien Bach
Played by Mtislav Rostropivich
Everything you need to know about life - in 1 minute, 57 seconds. 
Blind Wille Johnson & Willie B. Harris
Soul of a Man
Death underpins so much of American blues, gospel and folk so it is a natural fit with this project. This track was recorded in 1930.
Entrance - Grim Reaper Blues

Raucous, discordant and fun.  A thoroughly enjoyable approach to the subject.
Memphis Slim - Mother Earth
The epic,,14 minute cover version of this song by Eric Burdon and War should have been here. However,  the video above is just too perfect . 
The Lover's Ghost - Ness
This old folk song, also known as 'the Grey Cock' tells of the night visitation of a ghost who must bid her lover a final farewell before the sound of the cockerel breaks the dawn. This version was recorded in 1989 by my sister,