A year ago, as the game clock wound down, my local WHL team, the Victoria Royals, were poised to win the 7th game of their Division final in their quest to hoist the Memorial Cup. The arena was electric. Fans counted down the final seconds. "3-2-1...". And then with 2 tenths of a second on the scoreboard, the bad guys scored.
I've never seen a crowd deflate so fast. We all stared in stunned disbelief. Players collapsed on the ice. You could've heard a pin drop over the intermission before the overtime that followed. And in that overtime -- we lost.
It was a crushing defeat. Not only for the team but the entire town. And in an effort to come back as this season began, a banner was strung that read "Unfinished Business". We all knew what it meant.
Last night we clinched a spot in the playoffs. The business is still unfinished, but we're closer to seeing the job get done.
Coming back from loss is hard. The initial feelings of hurt, anger and frustration are difficult to shed. And once they're gone, what's left is an emptiness. One easily filled with depression, recrimination or the simple desire to just give up.
Loss is tough. Getting back up is tougher. Getting on with the job is the toughest thing of all.
No one I know has faced a larger climb up that mountain of late than a Palm Desert, California band known as "The Eagles of Death Metal".
"EODM" were the band onstage at the Bataclan venue in Paris on November 13, 2015 when it was attacked by Islamic terrorists. 88 of their fans and the band's merchandise manager were slaughtered.
I'm not sure it's possible to describe the bond that is formed between performers and audience during a live performance. Suffice it to say, the emotions are as intense for one as the other. Those onstage may be creating the vibe. But the energy of the audience is what fuels their fire. Consider it the ultimate co-dependent relationship. One can't survive without the other.
And when one is brutally torn away before the other's eyes, the shock is intense and often permanent.
That it did not happen to the "Eagles of Death Metal" and how the band found its way back is profoundly captured in a recent documentary by Colin Hanks entitled "Nos Amis" which covers not only the aftermath of the Bataclan tragedy, but the band's ultimate return to first making music and then taking it back onstage in a still wounded Paris.
Catch the documentary during its current rotation on HBO if you can. And make it a must if you're struggling to overcome something bigger than you've ever faced before.
The entire Paris concert where "The Eagles of Death Metal" finished their own "Unfinished Business" can be found here. May the healing power of Rock and Roll uplift you.
And Enjoy Your Sunday.