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Dimensions of Death

Symphony for Tim


There is an Irish tradition that when someone dies, friends pay the local musician/poet to write a song for him or her. When this song is played, it is said to be the only occasion when angels have the best tunes, better even than the devil. Because when these songs are played, the dead dance too.

After Tim died, I had a series of dreams unlike my normal dreaming, they were vivid, visceral and in full of colour, in which Tim and I explored the nature of death together.

In one Tim arrived dressed in his Paul Smith suit. He took me by the hand and we walked towards a presence of indescribable love and light. My sorrow left me and I was filled with a joy and peace beyond words. I can only describe this as being in the presence of God - except this was not the heaven I had imagined as a child, with a God to adore in awe. Tim was joking and messing about with this God-like presence and having fun. I suppose the folk who more usually describe such realms tend to be pious types, whereas a party hard north-London lad like Tim was never going to suddenly become a serene floaty being or a healing angel just because he has died.

‘No way!’ agreed Tim, though I hadn’t spoken. ‘I’ll leave all that consciousness and healing stuff to you and your friends. I’d rather party and kick up some fun.’ God as a mate to party with – that’s a new one. Suddenly I realised, heaven is quite simply composed of everything we have ever loved. Which is why I was laughing and having fun in this Tim-heaven, playing and dancing with this presence rather than blissfully sitting in silence or falling down in adoration.

Here are some tracks to listen to:
         Playing and Reality       Where Worlds Meet        Libera Me

         You can download the Symphony at  iTunes   Amazon   Fairsharemusic  Hotmusicland  

We create heaven with our love, just as we create hell with our fear.Tim nodded. ‘Yeah, you’re breaking it down, mum, you’re breaking it down.’

I smiled - this means the devil no longer has the best tunes.

Tim grinned. ‘Ah ha, speaking of tunes…’

From far away a bizarre thought flew into my brain - I would write a symphony as my memorial to Tim.

Tim laughed. ‘And I will help you,’ he says.
This was a crazy idea. I had never composed music in my life. I would have to set up some kind of studio, buy a MIDI keyboard and learn how to play it, learn the software, set up microphones, get headphones, a new computer, turn one of the bedrooms into a music studio with all the gear. But the thought that I should write a Symphony for Tim would not leave me. Death ends a life but not a relationship, and love will always seek ways to express itself. Writing the Symphony was a way in which I could express my love for Tim beyond words. And not only my love for him.
     While I was working on the music, I felt Tim with me. I know nothing about dance music yet dance beats kept finding their way into many tracks. I had to learn Logic, the music program, how to use a midi keyboard, the Tascam microphone… yet my IT skills are minimal and my IT consultant was dead. How did I do all this? Especially while regularly weeping? My only explanation is that Tim and I were working together.

Was this merely my imagination? I don’t think so. I definitely felt Tim’s hand in it all.


Or rather not his hand, he had no hand, if you like, I sensed the phenomena of Tim’s presence influencing reality through a transcendentally interconnected energy field. Or if you prefer more scientific terminology: a tim-ness vibrates beyond the event horizon of the black hole of death yet in the entanglement of our hyper-connected universe interacts with the material dimensions of space and time. Or if you are drawn to a more psychological take: my accumulated experiences of Tim from birth through to death have led to a body of sense impressions and memories that I can draw on to re-create the relationship with him that I have lost.

Though feel free to construct your own take on it all. I did. Tim was with me and we wrote a Symphony together.