Floating in the Forth

forth road bridge

I’m not the kind of person who cares about well-known people passing away all that much. I’m generally against making a big (public) deal of anyone’s death (whatever the cause), and the last thing I wish to achieve here, is to advertise some not-so-well-known Scottish band only through their recent, tragic end. But I just can’t stay silent, not in the given circumstances.

The chances are that you have never heard about Frightened Rabbit up to this point: point of reading (either here now or on any Scottish news page week ago) that their singer died suddenly, aged 36. But sad as it is, maybe now is actually the perfect time to get to know them…

I’ve read about Scott Hutchison’s death on Saturday morning, between rushed shower and quick breakfast, not being able to fully grasp the meaning of it. Three days later someone jumped off the North Bridge (where I work at the moment) and brought it back to my mind. But it wasn’t really until my lonely trip to Cramond Island two days later, that it finally hit me. I saw the bridges in the distance and automatically put ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ on. For the first time since hearing the news.

Tears streamed down my face.

Listening to them will never be the same again.

I haven’t been a huge fan of Frightened Rabbit (they are nowhere near Muse, Biffy or Placebo in my life). They are not my “every-day” kind of band: I need to be in a specific, melancholic mood to listen to them. But I do love them nonetheless. I first heard about them when Simon Neil mentioned them in some interview around 2013. I remember thinking then that Frightened Rabbit is a very peculiar name, but, trusting Simon’s judgement, I gave them a shot. So it happened that ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ instantly became one of my favourite albums ever. The emotions it evoked in me and the extent to which I could relate to it, exceeded my wildest expectations, previously set up by Placebo and Kodaline’s ‘In a Perfect World’. Ever since then, whenever I’ve encountered the darker period on my life’s journey, whenever I felt unbearably lonely, misunderstood, lost and helpless, I turned to them for help, understanding and comfort, which has always been waiting there for me.

Last week, the person who helped (and keeps helping, I’m sure) hundreds of people to pick up their pieces (me included) by truthfully singing about fighting his demons and persisting loneliness, who quite literally has sung his heart out to others, lost his battle against depression.

Scott was last seen in early hours of last Wednesday morning, close to Forth Road Bridge. Of course nobody officially confirmed it, but it’s enough to go listen to “Floating in the forth” to know that this time he jumped, making last Wednesday this “other day”. Before he floated away, he asked his followers on twitter to be good to their loved ones, to hug them.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week right now in the UK.

I won’t lie when I say that nobody and nothing has ever made me realize how terribly dangerous and unexpected depression is, as forcefully as Scott did. In all its tragedy, I suddenly realized how lucky I am that the closest person I lost to this illness is the vocalist of the band I like. I know some have no such luck. Besides, let’s face it: each and every one of us fights some of their own internal struggles. Struggles of which others may have no idea, but which may carry the power of defeating us.

I know that there are people among my friends who are struggling with their mental health and I would like to let them all know that however far I’ll go in the world, I want to always be there for them. I want to be your weapon in the battle against that fucking darkness. Just remember that I’m rooting for you, always. You are not alone. WE are not alone.

As for Frightened Rabbit, I’ll try my best to follow his advice and “while I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earth”. As he did. Not so tiny at all.

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