Wednesday my sister called me. She seemed distraught and I was beginning to worry, but when she said "Josh, Elliott Smith committed suicide yesterday", I just laughed. I laughed because there were so many rumors swirling around about Smith and his numerous addictions and suicide attempts, and it wasn't the first time I'd heard this. I assured her it wasn't true and we ended up laughing about it together. Smith's music had such a profound impact on me throughout my teenage years, the thought of him dying was hard to take. But I was sure it wasn't true. Then I opened the newspaper thursday morning and realized that it was true. And I cried.
More than any other artist, I felt a kinship with the quiet yet somehow hopeful desperation of his music. It helped me get through broken relationships, my parents' divorce, my own fear of the future, and the paralyzing hold that anxiety and depression frequently had on me. It was the best kind of therapy, and I don't know what I would've done without it.
He will be missed.
"If I didn't know the difference, living alone would prob'ly be okay."
-- "I Better Be Quiet Now"