I opened a piece of paper on Saturday night which contained a mix of words to describe sadness. Sadness that I would never see my friend again. Sadness that I never got to tell him how much I love him. Sadness that his sadness was the last thing he felt.
After I read these words, my voice cracking as I did so, we played this song for him. At the end of that song are the words "We can only go up from here". With that, I burst into tears. My legs couldn't hold me any longer and I crouched at the side of the stage in front of over 100 people.
"Tom is gone", I said to myself.
I'd been to Tom's funeral. I'd seen his grave. I put a rose on his coffin. I'd finished songs we'd written together without him and I'd cried so many tears that my eyes felt dry. But it took playing that song at that show for it to sink in.
My knees shook, I struggled for breath. I hugged as many people as I could, and then I got to my Mum.
"I miss him so much" I said, barely able to string the words together. She was crying too - "I know you do, son."
I found Frankie and held her tighter than ever, even with my shirt soaked in sweat and my ears ringing. We stood there for what felt like an hour, and in that moment I found some semblance of calm inside the storm.
We bought 150 people together to fill a room with love and music, celebrating Tom's endless capacity for the former and boundless enthusiasm for the latter. We celebrated the local music scene, a scene that had been falling apart for the last few years. We bought families together and formed our own with the other bands we played with.
Since that night, i've kept to myself for the most part. I've spent time with Frankie, sure. But i've spent a lot of time alone, too. I've been looking inside myself for positivity, but I just can't find it yet. Writing this at the moment, I went back to work today for the first time since the show and while the office is full of welcome distractions I also feel increasingly isolated. I'm not expecting to deal with this easily, nor am I expecting to be buried by the weight of this grief.
The truth is, I suppose, that I don't know how to feel at the moment. For the first time, I have truly felt a heart break - its at once debilitating to the point of being unable to think of anything else and crushing every time I dwell on it.
I have no more tears to cry, no more songs I want to sing and no joy to find in what I do.
I guess, as I said before - "We can only go up from here".
Before I go, i'd like to reiterate what I posted on Instagram the other day: I am fine, please do not worry about me. I'm taking some time for me. To reflect, to remember, and to attempt to heal. I appreciate every positive vibe that I've felt in the last few months more than you'll ever know.