About Nell

The death of a hero

This has been a terrible year. If we try to set aside the big orange catastrophe who won the election for a second, it has still been terrible.

I am a big music lover, I listen every day, all day, and even sometimes when I sleep. And this year has seen the death of a lot of great artists. It started with David Bowie in January and I was saddened to hear about his death. I’ve loved him since the first time I heard Heroes. I was 13 and watched Live Aid on my grandmother’s TV and was astounded by the song, his voice, but mostly his charisma.

I was sad when 80s icons Prince and Pete Burns (from Dead or Alive) died. Granted I haven’t listened to them lately but they were a big part of my teenage years when music was the most important aspect of my life.

In June, Swedish singer/songwriter Freddie Wadling passed away. He had a fantastic voice and his music had also been a part of me since my teenage years. When I read about it I was having lunch at a McDonald’s in my old home town in Sweden, and I sat there, sobbing in my fries.

But none of those deaths hit me as hard as Leonard Cohen. I woke up the day after his death and had a text from my daughter, telling me the news. I screamed NO NO NO so loud my husband came running from the home office wondering what was wrong. And then I cried.

It wasn’t a tiny little sob, it was full-blown ugly crying for at least an hour. I was heartbroken.

I’ve always loved Leonard Cohen. I have at least one of his songs in all my playlists on Spotify. I sleep to his album Ten New Songs a lot. I listen to cover versions of his songs. I read his poems.

To say he was my hero is an understatement.

This weekend I listened to one of the last interviews he ever gave and I cried. And today, more than two weeks since he passed, I listened to one of his songs and I cried.

I’ve never been affected like this by the loss of a person I’ve never met. But as a writer, an aspiring poet, and a music lover this is a great loss for me personally, and for the world.


“Needless to say I am one of the fakes”

I beg to differ. I have a hard time coming up with someone more real. Thank you, Leonard Cohen. You will be missed.