My very talented friends Chris Dimond and Michael Kooman have just released their first album, “Out of Our Heads: The Music of Kooman and Dimond.” The final selection on that album, “Lost in the Waves,” is the single most evocative and moving song I’ve ever heard about loss (in this case, the reflections of a man whose dad sacrificed his life to save him from drowning). Between the gorgeous melody and heartbreaking lyrics I was left in tears, but couldn’t not listen to it a half-dozen times the first day. (You can listen to a preview of the song on the album’s home page on iTunes.)
When I asked Chris and Michael about the song’s inspiration, Chris explained that his father drowned while saving him from a riptide. Chris who is 32, was nine at the time and his dad was 39. Given my own loss (of my dad when he was 44 and I was twelve), “Lost in the Waves” resonates in a profound way.
I first met Chris (a lyricist) and Michael (a composer) when they asked to interview me about my book, Why Suicide? Chris and Michael had been commissioned by the Williamstown Theater Festival in Williamstown, Massachusetts, to write a musical inspired by an article in the New Yorker magazine about the 2000th person to jump from the Golden Gate Bridge. Not exactly typical Broadway material and very treacherous territory for these two young men to explore, especially since they had no personal experience with suicide.
When my partner and I went to the show’s opening two summers ago we went with very low expectations, but were totally blown away by the show’s heart, sensitivity, humor, drama, and music. (Now that I know about Chris’s dad, I understand why he and Michael were the perfect team to do this work.) The show is still in development (performed most recently at Milikin University in Illinois), but I’m hoping it finds it’s way to Broadway one day soon. You can learn more about Chris and Michael’s shows and music on their web site.
About This Blog
Welcome to my blog, which grew out of my experience as a suicide survivor and my experience writing Why Suicide? (see below). On occasion I’ll be posting an essay based on something I’ve read, someone I’ve met, an experience I’ve had, or just a memory of someone in my life who took his or her life. If you have a thought on something I’ve written, I hope you won’t hesitate to join the conversation by leaving a comment.
- Rick on We May Think We’re Alone, But We’re Not. New List of Famous Suicide Survivors Just Released.
- Cindy Johnson on One Man’s Grief: A Story
- Jesse on Dharun Ravi: The Punishment Fits the Crime
About Eric Marcus
Eric Marcus is the author of several books, including Why Suicide?, Is It A Choice?, and Making Gay History. He is also co-author of Breaking the Surface, the #1 New York Times bestselling autobiography of Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis. Eric lost his father to suicide in 1970. His sister-in-law took her life in 2008. (Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan.)