Chelsea Coleman

I’m going to die. You’re going to die. Your parents and your siblings and your plants and your pets are all going to die.

It can be scary and it can be sad, but it’s a fact of life. We love our parents and siblings and plants and pets, but if we outlast them, we’re probably gonna miss them, and the idea of leaving the only life we know can be scary as hell. But it’s coming for all of us.

So why aren’t we talking about it? Grief and loss is complex and uncomfortable and, at the very least, inconvenient, but talking about it is about the only control we’ll ever have over it. As a “grief survivor” and the San Jose host of The Dinner Party, I love talking about grief. Love it. Even if it makes other people laugh nervously or look at their feet, talking about my mom’s undignified, untimely, and cosmically unjust death makes me feel that much more alive.

I’m not the only one. Look a little harder, and you’ll find some folks in the Bay Area who aren’t just talking about loss, but singing about it, too. The Bay Bridged has teamed up with local arts nonprofit You’re Going To Die to collect the stories and songs of local musicians who have gone through grief, in a number of ways. Everyone you know — even your favorite local musicians — have gone through grief, just like you.

We’re kicking off this series with San Francisco songwriter Chelsea Coleman and her song for her sister, “Verdigris.” We’ll be releasing more as we approach the end of the year.

Find out more about You’re Going To Die here, and grab tickets for their special holiday edition at Swedish American Hall on December 15.

‘Music and Mortality’ is produced in conjunction with local arts nonprofit You’re Going To Die. See more in the series here, and find out more about YG2D.