My grandmother passed away last Sunday.

Since then, I haven’t felt like going to a show. My life came to a standstill. I honestly wasn’t close with this grandma and I was having a hard time trying to figure out how to take it. I knew I should feel something. She was my last living grandparent and family is the most important thing to me but I couldn’t figure out what I was supposed to feel. I think I was so overwhelmed that I just went numb. It was the type of numb that even a show couldn’t fix. I missed out a couple of shows in the days leading up to her funeral. I just couldn’t muster up the energy to go.

I have been in southern Illinois for the past two days celebrating the life of this lady that I felt I never really got to know. The days were filled with tears and laughter. I was able to see family I hadn’t seen in a very long time and was able to meet some of my new baby cousins. I no longer felt numb, but felt completely and utterly overwhelmed. It hurt my heart so bad to see my mother have to bury her mom but at the same time, I was overjoyed to be able to spend time with this side of my family.

I tried to sort through my thoughts on the flight home early this afternoon but I just couldn’t figure it out. I felt guilty that I hadn’t gotten to know my grandma and that we fell out of touch. I felt devastated that I truly just didn’t feel much of anything. My brother dropped me off at my apartment where I plopped down on my couch. I thought that once I got home and into my own space, I would feel something but nothing came to me.

I didn’t know what to do. Was I supposed to just sit and cry? Was I supposed to eat something? Was I just supposed to sleep the numbness off? All of these questions of what I should be doing had me completely overwhelmed. After five minutes of sitting there, I got in my car. I still had no clue what I was supposed to be doing at the time. The numbness was still there but I was following my heart and my heart took me right to the Skyway Theater in downtown Minneapolis.

The second I got there, the numbness was gone.

I met up with Dustin of By The Thousands outside for a ticket and instantly felt the heaviness in my heart fall to the wayside. He didn’t say anything, hell, I don’t know if he even knew where I had been the past couple of days (I hadn’t told many people what had happened until I posted something on Facebook this afternoon about going “off the grid”)… I didn’t care. I wanted a sense of normalcy and seeing him was exactly what that gave me.

I walked upstairs and instantly felt like my normal, concert-going, self. The people who didn’t know what happened came up, gave me high fives and started talking about the bands playing tonight and upcoming shows. The people who knew what had happened came up and gave me hugs, condolences, beer, whatever they thought of. I instantly broke down into tears on the inside (Obviously I couldn’t actually cry… I have a badass reputation to uphold!). It was there, surrounded by my friends, listening to some music, that I finally felt something.

It was the first time since I got the news last Sunday that I felt anything at all.

The show was mediocre at best. Honestly, the music was quite terrible for majority of the bands that I saw but I didn’t care. I wasn’t there for the music, I was there to be there. My boys in By The Thousands were truly the only band I cared about at the show. They sounded great, looked great, everything about their set was great.

As I was looking at that stage, seeing my friends to what they do best, turning down pulls from a flask that a buddy snuck in, watching my friends go ape shit in the pit, everything was okay in my life for the first time in days.

I left after By The Thousand’s set. The emotions I was feeling were just too much and I was flat out exhausted emotionally and physically.

Now, here I am, sitting on my couch, stuffing my face with pizza, binge watching Catfish and completely bawling my eyes out.

I got through the funeral with only one or two tears rolling down my cheek. I got through saying goodbye to my extended family without any sadness. I went to a metal show surrounded by the best of friends in the best scene of the country and I finally felt the breakdown that I knew was coming.

Concerts are the best type of therapy. Tonight was a prime example of that.

Rest in peace Grandma Jean.