A month ago today I got the news. Jason Molina, of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., had passed away. It had happened two days earlier, Saturday March 16. Organ failure. Alcoholism. 39 years old. Another troubled songwriter to eulogize. On March 16 I lost one of the most important influences in my life and I didn’t even know him. Yet, like many others who have reacted to Molina’s premature passing, I felt like I did. I lived with his songs, I learned about life from his songs. I learned that it’s ok to fall down, to not always be strong, to not always succeed, to not be perfect.
Having disappeared from the radar some two years ago, apparently to live on a farm and going in and out of rehab, it felt like a question of time before this day would come. And still it felt like the world suddenly stopped. As the news of his death circled the internet, a collective sadness echoed through the cold walls of social media, serving as a global wake for mourning fans. Every eulogy, every press release, every blog post, every little Tweet reverberated the impact that Molina had on his listeners. The stories of finding his music at just in time, of feeling like he was there when you needed something to hold on to, these are my stories as well. Molina gained a following all over the world for being honest and true, for saying what you yourself weren’t ready or, perhaps, brave enough to say.
Jason Molina may not have made it out but his songs are filled with the will to always try. To try to see that light at the end of the tunnel, to keep hope when there are no words left to define it. He left behind songs to inspire, to comfort and heal. Songs that will continue to matter everytime someone picks up one of his albums and finds it just in time.