As some of you might have seen on my social media outlets, I’ve recently been in the outrageously fortunate position to fly to NY to partake in a fundraiser which was held in memory of one of my best friends, whom we lost to suicide 3 ½ years ago.
All of the immensely skilled performers told their stories through their respective disciplines to present themselves as Living Proof that one cannot only survive, but live and create in the face of adversity.
I was given the opportunity to share my own mental health journey, which I had never done so publicly and openly. It was terrifying, but in return just dumbfoundingly rewarding. Never, in my life, have I felt so heard, understood and appreciated.
I am also very proud to have been able to donate 2 pieces of mine to the event, which were auctioned off to raise money for the cause, the Miles Applebaum Music Scholarship. Frankly, it feels wonderful to see my work being so valued and to have contributed, if only a little, to the event and the scholarship fund.
The event, however, is only a part of what made the week I spent in the US so precious to me. The other part belongs to me and the people who share those memories with me. I’ve been home in the Netherlands for a few days now, but my heart is still in NY, and it will be a while until I stop retracing the steps I took, the art I witnessed and the conversations I had. I am so very lucky and I must never forget that.
The fact remains that all of this could only happen because my friend died, the sheer pain of which I couldn’t possibly capture in a few sentences in an instagram post. And yet, I am so lucky to have known Miles at all, to know the people who loved him most in the world, and that I get to carry all of this with me wherever I go. I love you, Miles.