Paying tribute to a friend I never met

Hi, friends.

I hope this post finds you well. I know I said I wouldn’t post on Thursday this week, because of it being Chris’ birthday yesterday. However, I wanted to write a little about the experience of paying tribute, and what it means to me, six years after Chris’ death.

Although some might say that after six years, the ‘need’ for immediate tribute has diminished, to me that is not true. For me, as I said yesterday, it’s not about saying anything new, it’s just letting our departed friends and loved ones know that they are still loved.

I would think that my ability to talk about Chris and what she means to me might have improved over the past six years. Unfortunately, I still stumbled over my words last night. I should have thought more about what I was going to say, but throughout the day, I was practising the end of the song.

I could have picked something easier and less instantly recognisable…I could equally have played something that was mine. The reason why I chose ‘My Sweet Lord’ was two-fold: first, I know that it was Chris’ favourite George Harrison song, secondly I had an experience shortly after she passed away which has remained with me.

To me, what happened on that Easter Monday was a sure sign that Chris made it to where she was meant to be. I sat playing guitar with my eyes closed, going through ‘Wish You Were Here’ and eventually began to play ‘My Sweet Lord’.

I played the first couple of bars, and just looped the progression, then played the chords which usually accompany the solo. I didn’t have a second guitarist, and I wasn’t playing along to George’s original version. Those two factors make what happened all the more remarkable. I played those chords for the solo, and to this day, I am sure I heard it…as though from somewhere else. Perfectly in time, all the right notes…

She obviously made a beeline for Mr. Harrison when she got there! That thought makes me smile, at least. I know Chris has been gone for a long time, but I pay tribute with gestures like that, and with every note I play, because I feel that in some way doing that keeps her present in my day-to-day life.

Being that she was such a powerful presence, and a significant influence, the idea that I could lose that completely doesn’t sit well at all.

So, I play and sing in her name, and will do as long as I’m on the planet.

If you’re interested, my performance last night can be heard below:

Wishing you peace and strength on your journeys,



About Casey Bottono

I am in love with language. I write poetry and fiction in a wide variety of genres. Most recently, I have been shortlisted as a finalist in the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities' Pen2Paper contest.
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