The fifth collection of Symphonic Literature is about living with death.
-Tap here to order a print edition-
Or continue to read for free
For Gramma Rose
5/16/40 – 1/23/21
It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Linkin Park – Waiting For The End, Kendrick Lamar – Humble, Modeselektor ft. Tommy Cash – Who, Lil Darkie – Shit, Chelou – Halfway to Nowhere, Soul Coughing – Circles, Rainbow Kitten Surprise – It’s Called: Freefall, Of Monsters And Men – Little Talks
Daft Punk – Technologic
Oliver Tree- Cash Machine
System of a Down – Toxicity
Cake – Frank Sinatra, Laura Les- Haunted, Train – Drops of Jupiter, The Velvet Underground – After Hours, Avenged Sevenfold – Beast and the Harlot, Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive, 30 Seconds To Mars – This Is War, Senses Fail – Can’t Be Saved
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
Evanescence – My Immortal
Big Sean – One Man Can Change The World
Zedd ft. Foxes – Clarity, Amy Winehouse – Back In Black, Johnny Cash – Hurt, Atmosphere – The Best Day, Frank Sinatra – That’s Life, Kenny Rogers – The Gambler, Blue Oyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Kansas – Dust In The Wind
Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons
Bob Dylan – It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Mac Miller – Avian
Thanks to the many talented artists and technicians whose work made this book possible. Their passion keeps the world from going quiet.
Gia you’ve always given me the strength to be myself, and as long as you’re on my side I don’t have to worry about coming out ahead. I’ve always been proud that you were my sister, but everytime some shit goes down you remind me that I’m lucky too. Thank you for always pushing me in the right direction and for the unflinching support. I love you.
To my Father, Vincent P Smarra – thank you for teaching me true generosity, to never value meaningless space or stuff over loved ones. You never hesitate to help, and you’re an excellent example to follow. Our differences are evident but I’m proud of our similarities, and to be your son. No one could ever be you.
Lori, thank you for all that you did for Gramma Rose. You made sure she was comfortable and happy – you treated her like a person and helped her maintain her dignity – you showed colors a lot of people wish they could, and capability a lot of people claim to have. She told me herself how grateful she was for you.
And to Jensen, thank you, for all the time we spent with Gramma Rose. Thank you for taking me to do her shopping, for coming to the casino with us, for making her laugh, and being there for her. You did more than I asked, and I asked a lot. I love you, and she did too.
Also, thanks to those that didn’t let me eulogize my grandmother. I don’t owe you people any words, so I put them in a book for her. None of you read anyways.
Gramma Rose’s Eulogy
You were always there for me. I don’t know why, but you were. One of the only people to ever love me unconditionally, and I remember it all. Walking with you to Foodland, you chasing me upstairs with scissors trying to cut my hair, all those bike rides in the summer to the F.O.R where you’d give me 20 bucks and I’d go to the library then McDonalds for the both of us; how much money did we lose together at the casino?
And we didn’t just do stuff together. I remember our booth at Eat N’ Park, all the talks we had there helped me more than I could possibly know at the time. You didn’t only treat me as an equal, but as a friend, you afforded me a sense of normalcy that otherwise would’ve been out of my reach. You understood the ways I didn’t work, and helped me get past that.
You taught me the lasting impact of love, and forgiveness. The example I have to follow, the legacy you left behind, leaves no room for misinterpretation. I knew you, and I still know the way you wanted me to be. I can’t promise that I’ll live up to it, only to try. You would’ve wanted me to be honest about that.
And honestly, thank you for that too. The expectations you had of me, while biased and overblown and most likely unwarranted, will be sources of strength as I go on. You worked so hard your whole life Gram, you earned this rest. I hope at the end of my days, I’m half the person you were.
I’m sorry things ended the way they did. I’m sorry for going to sleep and leaving my phone on silent. I hate myself for it. Maybe one day I’ll accept there’s a reason, but right now this all just feels pointlessly malicious. I hope your last time here was what you wanted, but I know it wasn’t. I’m happy you gave your last little bit of you to Jax though, I’m sure he’s gonna need it; even if he doesn’t he’s lucky to have it.
I did what I thought was best this whole time, what I thought you would have wanted; this money bullshit though, Jesus. I really wish you were here so we could laugh about it together.
But you have Crow things to worry about now; I saw you eating that Squirrel and laughed out loud. Just like you to make me smile when I need it, and death jokes always did us both in. I miss you already Gram, and always will. If you’re ever haunting somebody, please give me a spook. Please.
And I’ll take care of Jensen like you asked. I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you, but thank you for doing everything for me.
I love you Gramma Rose, and wish you clear skies on your journey.