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  • Writer's pictureZee

Life After Death

After my brother died on June 27th at about 4:00pm at the hands of a killer, I was deeply angry. I was angry because before my brother became a low functioning schizophrenic he was selflessly kind. He decided to not go off to college, but to work and contribute most of his money to the managing of our household. I could never fathom doing this. It's not that I wasn't kind. It's just that if I worked for my money, the majority of the money I worked for would undoubtedly be mine. I admired this quality in my oldest brother.

He was an athlete that didn't go on to play at a university level, but he was an exceptional basketball player in high school. I can't imagine how he discovered he was a songwriter. It kind of just happened. I discovered I was a singer since I was eight years old, but my brother discovered that he was a songwriter as a youth. He was maybe twenty something years old. I wasn't that good at writing songs at all. I was blooming, but I was focused on other areas of passion. When would I have the time to learn how to properly write a song? My brother could write a song out of nowhere and at any given point in time would add words to a melody. Because I wasn't good at it as yet, I would use his chorus as a skeleton to write verses. This was the beginning of me taking a dive into being a songwriter.

My brother and I were close because he was my songwriter teacher. I don't know how much they now charge for the songwriter courses or annual fees to be apart of songwriting organizations, but thankfully I bypassed all of that.

Let me get back on the topic of death. I'm very intrigued by the occurrence of death. It's always been an experience that would be heavily emotional for me because I become attached to the habits of seeing my loved ones and speaking to them.

My godmother, Lovetha Robinson. She always gave me candy. She was such a beautiful singer and I just loved her so dearly. She had an open heart surgery and she died during surgery. I cried so much. I fainted in the graveyard. I wasn't ready to lose her. She told me she was coming back. I thought she was sure of it. That was probably her way of making things easier for me.

When my brother had died I was prepared, but I wasn't prepared. He told me he was ready to die. We were in his room during Christmas 2021. He was coaching me as he did on spontaneous songwriting. Saying things like write in the moment. Tell me what you're thinking through your song. Think about a collective experience. All of that good stuff. It's really challenging to write a song people can relate to. He was a songwriter, free styler. He was a natural.

We sat in the room and I began to record with my H5 zoom recorder. He asked, "Are you recording." I said yes. He said, "You didn't get my permission. Turn it off." I turned the recorder off. He said, "where's the money?" I said I could never pay you for what you teach me. He laughed. We went through a 21 minute songwriting cluster and I recorded the entire session.

When the recording session was done, he said I'm done with life. I'm ready to die. I got so sad. He laughed and said, "No don't get sad. This is what life is about. You live and then you're done." Since then, I have a different take on life. Life isn't about trying to be loved by everyone, but it's about impacting a few people before we leave.

I'm working on a live presentation to sing the songs I wrote with my brother. I'm looking forward to presenting them soon.

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