LUNGS ARE BURNING
Lungs Are Burning is the name of my new single that will be available June 6, 2017. I felt compelled to write this song after reading about the Fentanyl drug crisis killing more and more Canadians. I am taking this crisis quite personally. I woke early one morning last summer, consumed by an immediate lyric and a melody ‘lungs are burning, hearts are yearning, and we’re reaching to fill ourselves’, and asked my partner Dale Murray to get out of bed and write the song with me.
This song explorers my personal journey of loss and longing.
Grief is familiar to me, I am inside it, and I find it really difficult to write about. It feels like a crushing blow to my upper body. It’s a sort of tightness from the base of my ribcage, that wraps up and around my back, strangling my neck and head. It’s difficult to breath. It feels like stress, but it also feels like this profound sense of loss and longing. It’s most prevelant when I think about my brother, and I’m sitting in one place, so I prefer to keep moving forward in my work and daily activities. I am a workaholic, and when I burn out and cannot work, I am overwhelmed with guilt, sadness and anxiety.
I can’t believe he’s gone.
I’d love to laugh with him again.
For weeks now, the thought of typing this threw me into a tortured state. I don’t know how much or how little to say. Today is his birthday. When I don’t think about him, I feel normal. I am also triggered when I learn of someone else’s suffering and loss of a loved one from a drug overdose.
This grief has haunted me since the passing of my brother July 24, 2013. The coroner described his death over the phone as an accidental opioid overdose. The word ‘accidental’ confirmed for us that Stephane did not want to die. I went quickly back to work, as I did after my father’s death in 1999, kept busy, focused on my career, but writing and singing about our relationship along the way.
I don’t think I would be a songwriter if it weren’t for my brother Stephane. He was the brilliant artist in our household, and I wanted to be more like him. In his lifetime Stephane was an athlete, illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, handy-man, security guard, animal lover, a mentor to many, generous friend, a great listener, and anyone who knew him can attest to his brilliant sense of humor and ability to make your day brighter just by walking into your space. Many of my songs, are imagined conversations between he and I. Unfortunately he also battled addiction and mental illness for most of his life.
Not all my songs are so heavy in their topic, but some are, this one is. Maybe it will provide an opportunity to talk about tough stuff. Maybe it will just provide pleasant background music while baking or doing the dishes.
In loving memory of Stephane Martin, April 18 1972 – July 24 2013