I spoke to my editor about whether she would read one of my letters if it had this title. My editor, aka my partner lol, said yes of course, “it sounds like you’re challenging deathphobia.”
As someone who hates death but is trying to make friends with the people on the other side, here goes.
It was the summer of 2007.
My cousin’s death obviously really sucked but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the music that I listened to and how I eventually created a mix that was played at his funeral.
There was this one moment I remember from his funeral where linkin park blasted from the speakers. We were packed in a chapel which was already awkward, dressed in Panjabi clothes, all wearing white. The granthi/priest found the sound to be disrespectful, but I found it AWESOME.
The way I accessed music on the internet was different back then. Instead of studying, I’d look through countless music blogs, writing down song after song that I’d later lime wire. When I eventually threw my SAT books away I found loose papers with several song names written on them. I wasn’t great at the computer, I often times heard my brothers screaming behind the screen “JASDEEP !! YOU CAN’T USE THE COMPUTER ANYMORE!”
Queen of the viruses.
My cousin was 16 when he transcended. Sometimes I think about how his name translated/translates to immortal and I laugh. Of course he would leave with us with a riddle that I’d be giggling about 15 years later.
The last song on his myspace was “smiley faces” by Gnarls Barkley.
Being on the internet, seeing people pass in real time but continuing to live online is trippy.
He didn’t live to see fb or instagram or twitter or tiktok. But that last song he left on his myspace still plays in my head.
Sometimes I look at posts of people who passed. What was their last post? Was there some encrypted message in it? Did they know they would soon pass?
Are the dead living among us online?
My friend Sharon’s last post on fb was “It’s time to be my best friend, hbu?” She was so funny. That of course was her immortal message , now living on the internet.
The summer my cousin passed, I heard some songs that certainly made a mark on me.
Firstly we have T-Pain Bartender and I’m in love with a stripper. Iconic.
Secondly, Linkin Park “what I’ve done’’. Perfect amount of angst.
Bloc Party, I still remember. My cousin loved this song.
Cold War Kids “hang me up to dry”, this was my ringtone at the time. The beginning bass is stellar.
Young Joc “Its going down”, the synth in the intro is hypnotic.
And lastly I’ll end with a Panjabi Song.
I remembered my cousin playing a recording of this song on his flip phone. I searched everywhere for it and was so relieved that I could include it in his final hurrah mix.
Ironically, the singer passed in a similar way 3 months before him. They also shared the same sun sign, gemini.
There are a few other songs that I might not be ready to hear or reflect upon, but these songs carried me through.
About a year later I heard MGMT’s time to pretend and I knew that we were in a new era.
Not too many people know this, but the first mix I ever shared with a large group of people was at my cousin’s funeral 15 years ago.
Pretty iconic if you ask me.
Anyhow, I’m signing out with a song (intro ceremony into a new world) that I just released with Offering Rain, one that I’m sure my cousin would have loved to hear.
Rest In Peace, cousin. I love you.
thank you <3