I wrote “I’m Sorry” about a dear friend, a former girlfriend, who committed suicide in high school. I was fifteen at the time and wrote it sometime between the day she died and her funeral as I remember playing it for a group of friends after the ceremony.
In the song I take responsibility for horrible things I said and for the fact that I never apologized when she was alive. Oddly it was she who reached out to me hours before her death. We were at school and she found me and spoke words of reconciliation, love, forgiveness and hope towards me. Imagine my surprise to find out that that very evening she arose from the dinner table and went to her room and shot herself with her father’s gun.
Such a life-changing event. We had both been horribly abused at home, relentlessly bullied at school and shamelessly discarded by religious leaders we approached for safety and solace. And now she was dead. This event clearly caused me to become the beast I am today, a man who has no patience (let alone tolerance) for bullies and their ilk.
When I get heated up on this memory, I envision myself as a super-hero looking to and fro for bullies, perpetrators, people with real or assumed power taking advantage of the meek. You know, the ones labeled “pick on me, I’m used to it”. You know, the ones born with targets on their back.
I remember early on in my Christian walk God dealing with me about these memories, showing me that a legion a persecuting demons had been assigned to me to prevent me from doing the work I had been created to do. Ahhh sweet deliverance! What? I sound crazy? I don’t care. I’m fighting a good fight WITH RESULTS. I’m doing everything I ever dreamed of as a kid FOR GOD.
I sure wish that my dear friend were alive to witness this and I rarely comfort my self with Hallmark-like notions that she’s in heaven looking down and smiling. She left me angry. And with a great song. I’d trade both in to change history but since I can’t, I have allowed my anger to fuel my purpose. I’m sure someone will read this and say “You need to let the anger go…” HOGWASH!
This is a righteous anger that screams, “I will not allow this hatred and violence to continue” and it, through a foolish, selfish, pointless death of a beautiful child who never new how much she was needed and loved, has created for me a place in this wicked, wicked world.
I'm sorry Marcia.