At worst, these songs probably seem really indulgent. At their best, they should act as a testament to an experience that's universal: Everyone suffers; life is pain; and death is the final punctuation at the end of that sentence, so deal with it. I really think you can manage pain and suffering by living in fullness and being true to yourself and all those seemingly vapid platitudes.
I read this interview while sitting outside, Sufjan Stevens’ new album, Carrie & Lowell, playing on the stereo. There was a woodpecker intermittently going to town on a tree somewhere in the distance. If I turned to my left, I could look down the hill past my house and almost see the exact spot where my mother was in the car accident that killed her two weeks ago. For me to say that Carrie & Lowell is a terrific album is unfair; there’s too much of me wrapped up in it to be a fair critic. But I’ll suggest you all read this interview and maybe check it out. There might be something for you to find in it.