"You Cannot Destroy Me:" A reflection on life and My Chemical Romance

I couldn’t find words for this for so long. I think I’ve finally accepted that it’s because I’ve said all that I need to say already.

I’m not interested in sweeping statements or writing a memorial piece. For the past 8-and-a-half years, I’ve spent nearly every waking moment living My Chemical Romance, honoring and praising them daily.

At first, I wanted to do those memorial things. Finding some perfect way to sum up and honor something I’d been actively immersed in and loudly appreciative of for years was impossible, because—as I’ve realized—I’ve already done it.

I have no regrets, nor confessions nor treasures I feel the need to share.

I searched for the right words to suspend the magic that surrounds My Chemical Romance, and they don’t exist. What does is the music that awakens and stirs it, makes it swirl around and engulf us again and again, forever. It’s in that feeling—those moments of possession at the live shows, the smell of honey and powder, crossing countless state-lines, the grit of a city on your skin while leaning, sunburnt and exhausted against a barricade, the chills, the inspiration, the red, the black, the bats, the confetti, the screams, the punches, the hugs, the Canadian winter, the Danger, the first aide tent, the racing hearts, Joan Of Arc, saints, villains, mortality, lessons, bruises, sweat, blood, falling, feeling, Gerard, Frank, Ray, Mikey…

It exists in every memory we have, and it’s different for each of us, which is the beauty of it, because that means that it spreads infinitely, through facets of human life that some of us don’t even know exist.

My Chemical Romance turned my life around at roughly the same time they saved Gerard Way’s life for the second time, I learned to drive with The Black Parade, graduated high school as the Parade died, survived, thrived and learned to destroy my way through college with Danger Days and graduated on the eighth anniversary of Revenge’s release. On March 22, 2013, I was prepping for my move into my first real, adult apartment when the band announced their end.

I spent that night—you guessed it—crying. Until 5 a.m.. I felt as if I were losing everything. I spent the next week in my new apartment feeling cursed and crying silently and whenever I was left alone for more than a moment. I also spent that time avoiding communication at all costs (an easy feat; as, I didn’t have an internet connection outside of work.) I still have yet to more than skim fellow MCRmy sentiments.
I felt like I first needed to reflect, and I needed to do it without influence beyond that of the members of MCR. The only ode I’ve read at this point is the one I helped compile with my editor, Jason, for Alternative Press.
Quiet and detached reflection is a funny thing. It makes you see signs: A chillingly silent cluster of ambulances I passed on my way to my new apartment, a black cat, a clover falling from a Danger Days diary…

It also turns you into a bit of a ghost.

It took only Gerard’s reflection to snap me out of it and gradually make me comfortable living again, because it reminded me that nothing is going away. None of the guys are going to lie low—I don’t think they can. The idea and the magic of MCR is not now and can never vanish. 

I picture it this way: That announcement was an explosion and everything we’ve ever learned or felt from the band rose and fell, distributing itself elsewhere—in them; in us.

Everything changes. Everything must die. But, as Gerard said, My Chemical Romance can never die. "It’s not a band, it is an idea." It’s way bigger than me or you or any weapon anyone has ever tried to use against it. It’s even bigger than even itself.

And I’m eternally indebted to it and grateful to have been a part of it.

It’s not the end.

In my reflection, I realized that next year, I will be the same age Gerard was when he wrote Bullets.  It’s easy, in a world that forces you to grow up so fast, to feel as if it’s too late for you, or you’ve passed your prime, but MCR reminded me that my life has only just begun, and that I’ll continue to grow, and they’ll continue to help me.

Even if they aren’t making music together, My Chemical Romance instilled so much in me and in anyone who has made it far enough to read this, and we’ll carry it forever.

Faith Kept. Forever.


Tanya Rae said…
Forever :) Thank you. Your words resonate.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful, nailed it!
Anonymous said…
That was so beautifully written. You have such a way with words Cassie. Thank you for sharing that with us.

Ethne said…
I have yet to express everything that went through me with the announcement and how things have revolved around it for days. But reading your feelings, your thoughts about it, makes it easier to assess. You are very right :)

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