Today is the funeral for my friend and former band mate Ben Graves.
I had gotten word that Ben was sick the Tuesday before last while on the subway running errands. I was told he had cancer, which made a turn for the worse and, that if I would like to speak with him, today might be my last chance.
They say you are not a true New Yorker till you’ve cried on the subway. I earned those stripes long ago, and I guess it was my day to add some new ones. Lucky me, I’m not a man who is afraid to cry and after getting off the phone with Eric Griffin, was nearly brought to my knees sobbing.
Ben had been diagnosed with brain cancer last September and had wanted to keep his sickness private. Since then, Eric-also a friend and bandmate, and his girlfriend Lydia had been taking care of him constantly. I feel very fortunately that they allowed me to talk to him one last time. They also allowed me to listen to the song we used to play before every Murderdolls show, ‘All American Man’ by Kiss. Thank you for taking such great care of our friend and thank you for letting me do what must have been as hard for me, as it was for you.
After the phone call I went though my old journals and read what I had written during the time we played together. Then I googled Murderdolls and Ben Graves looking at old photos of us. I then, asked some of you to post your stories of Ben.
It’s very odd that someone is taken from us so young, especially someone so full of life-like Ben was. So, I guess it’s only fitting that the emotions that followed were also odd, and please bear with me while I explain;
Being in the Murderdolls was, easily, the best time of my life. Anything you have heard about that band being totally bananas are true.
Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to relive that experience though photos, journals, stories from you, stories from Wednesday and Eric. As a result, I have maybe laughed more this week then I have in years. I would find myself at the gym and see a funny post about Ben that would make me think of something else and next thing you know, I’m laughing out loud on the elliptical, which only makes it funnier.
So, 2 of the best years of my life were spent Ben. I am so grateful to him for that.
But now, I am also so grateful to him for this past week of laughter. This is proof that Ben will and IS living on though the originality and non-apologetic nature of his life.
I’m still trying to process all this, but it would seem that what I have learned from Ben is that the truer we are to our nature-to who we are-the more we let others live and bring light to their lives.
And while I’m happy that your gonna be on the other side jamming with Lemmy, I still wish that you were here jamming with me. You were always our Ghoul.
Love you big guy.