They don’t even know what it is to be a fan, y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.” – Sapphire, “Almost Famous”

I suppose you can call me a rock late bloomer. It was 2005—I was 18—when I first listened to Nirvana, which means Kurt Cobain had been dead for over a decade before I listened to “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

It wasn’t even intentional. One day a college  friend noticed that we liked the same stuff playing on the radio while we were wallclimbing, so she offered to lend me something from her brother’s CD collection. She lent me Nevermind, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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You’d think it would be easier to accept a loved one’s death when you’ve been warned about it, but that’s not the case. Even if you’ve spent years bracing yourself for that person’s death, the loss will still crush you when it finally happens, and it will leave a gaping hole in your heart that will probably never be filled.

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