Dear Mike

Hi, honey. I thought of you today when I saw the news that Mike Starr, former Alice in Chains bass player, had died. I don’t listen to their music anymore. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to listen to Alice in Chains again without going right back to the horrific weeks after you died when I could listen to nothing else.

Anyway… Mike Starr was 44, the same age you were. The article I read said that he apparently overdosed after mixing methadone with prescription drugs like Xanax. In the past when I heard this kind of news, I’d think “What a waste of talent.” I still think that, but now I also think a lot about the people he left behind. I don’t know anything about his life or his family. I wonder if there’s a woman who feels today the way I felt on March 4, 2010 — like she’s trapped in a nightmare and can’t wake up, like her life is over. I wonder how his dad, who gave a statement to the press, is coping — whether he’s angry yet or still in a state of numb disbelief.

I saw my therapist today and was telling her how I’ve felt better since I got the tattoo. She wondered if it’s partly because I’ve done something big, something permanent, to honor your memory… so now I don’t have to hold on so tightly. There’s no danger of forgetting because the reminder will always be right there on my shoulder. The word “forgetting” brought tears to my eyes. I think I’ve been afraid to move forward because it feels like moving away from you, and I don’t want to leave you behind. But I won’t ever forget you, my love.

I’m sorry that the roses I bought you last week didn’t last. I guess Trader Joe’s isn’t the best place to find fresh flowers. For our wedding anniversary next month, I’ll buy you really nice flowers, like the ones you always got for me, OK?

I love you so much,
your Liramay

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~ by hourbeforedawn on March 9, 2011.

4 Responses to “Dear Mike”

  1. Lira, I don’t know if this helps but these things are what I read from people who knew Michael outside of our family. He always was and still is a very special soul. God bless you!

    John,
    Attached is a copy of the poem I wrote last year just after mike died.
    Any attempt I make to say something appropriate this time of year will be futile, but all I can say is that mike changed my life, and I will never forget that. The time I knew Mike helped make me the person I am today, and in that manner I hope I will always help a part of him live on.
    best,
    Samantha Florio

    Blood Drips, Clock Ticks

    I don’t know what time it is. (I probably smashed the clock)
    Tonight, I am listening to you breathe, and searching for an answer. I am swarmed with the angst to begin a thousand thoughts,
    And crippled with the frustration to finish any of them.
    If there were ever a time to write.
    If there were ever a time when I needed my words to not fail me.
    To express the unexplainable.
    I should be used to this by now.
    I should understand that which is innate and divine is as reoccurring as a song chorus.
    Tonight, I offer you my hands in helpless sacrifice.
    So this is my soliloquy for an empty room.
    I am squeezing blood from a stone, and its thick red heat, splattering on the floor,
    is spelling out my story to you.
    My depth is no good if you cannot feel it.
    I therefore, cannot be selfish with my words tonight.
    Tonight, I am performing alchemy for you.
    Tonight, I have no makeup on.
    Tonight, in every corner of the earth, clocks just stopped.

  2. Ah, hon – what beautiful thoughts. I understand about worrying about forgetting. Its so easy to forget – because you think it will help, because life gets too cluttered – and poof, memories are gone. Remember, I was a history major…and it was because of fleeting memories & the immensity of forgotten stories, lives, events. Even when you are old and your memory is failing, I really doubt you’ll lose track of what and who Mike was/is to you…before the tattoo he was already embedded in your soul.

  3. i can understand that totally. he’s with you forever you know…forever.

  4. I know this fear of moving forward, that it means I’m leaving my love behind me. I also know, because so many are telling me so, that it’s not true, that our love won’t fade, that he has gone on ahead, but it’s hard to believe just now when I’m still coming to terms with losing him. Your words, your sharing, help to diminish my fear. Thank you, Lira. Thinking of you.

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