Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan
When I learned that the lead singer of the Cranberries died late last year, I was taken aback a bit more so than the other deaths of musicians or actors recently. I wondered what happened but I left it in the back of my mind thinking it was a shame.
A month later I found an incredible musician named Alexandr Misko who plays the guitar. One of the songs he covered was the Cranberries song "Zombie". I remembered again briefly about her death.
A month later, I woke up in a deep sorrow over a friend, who I felt had abandoned me. I wrote him a letter, and never sent it. I did send him another note, with less night drama, and a quick note to which he responded right away. Ironically, I was introduced to the band by this friend a long time ago. I liked a different style of music then, and was pretty dedicated to it, so I listened to them sometimes for my friend's sake, but also because their songs were very good.
A week or two later, someone in our house was playing a Cranberries song, and I looked them up, and added some to my own playlist and listened to a couple when I went to pick up our milk. I listened to Ode To My Family. I listen to music primarily for the music, the lyrics are secondary. As I listened to the lyrics, I thought, "Oh, she must sarcastically be raging against/trashing her family like all rock musicians seem to do." But as I listened, I was floored by the tenderness of which she spoke and sang about her mother and father. I don't pretend to understand much about her relationship, but love between a child and parent is something that strikes quite a deep chord in me from several traumas I have experienced with my children.
Her name was Dolores Mary Eileen O'Riordan. She became a star at a young age with her unique vocal style. She was from Limerick Ireland. She was most comfortable in rural Ireland. She kept horses, a pot-belly pig, dogs, chickens and peacocks. She had a loving relationship with her mother and father and took care of her mother.
She was Catholic, she had conservative leanings. She thought abortions were harmful and demeaning to women. She was pro-life but respected the choices of others. She was not without the incredulity we all sometimes feel about other's choices.
I understand that she had a lot of feminist ideals, but at the same time criticized some feminists saying "I think the feminists probably need some serious man in their lives."
I understand she was sexually abused for four years as a child and confronted her abuser many years later at her father's funeral in 2011.
She wrote Zombie and was familiar with anger, war and death in her country citing the Easter Rising of April 24, 1916.
I understand she was involved in an altercation with airline staff and police and was fined for her actions. She yelled that she was the "queen of Limerick". Her mother said she was troubled was because of the ending of her 20 year marriage. Her marriage seemed to have been troubled since at least 2013.
I understand she battled depression, panic attacks, self-harm, alcohol abuse and anorexia. In 2012, I understand she tried to commit suicide by overdosing, but said later assured herself that the love for her children was a reason to live.
She said she believed in God, in an afterlife and in other dimensions, and that her father often came to her in her dreams.
I understand that she didn't sing Ode To My Family for a long time after her father's death, and when they did finally play the song again, she was silent and had the audience sing the part about her father.
In 2017, in an interview, her vitality for life seemed extinguished. Her dearth of reactions were sharply contrasted with the other people around her.
In January 2018 she was found dead in her hotel bathtub. She was 46 years old.
I don't know why it is so easy for life to become such a burden and for that light to become extinguished.
I never gave her music a lot of attention, and I don't know why her passing has affected me as much as it has. I never really knew what she looked like. I say this only to reveal that I did not follow her as a celebrity, but am concerned for her as a person whose problems were brought into the public. Perhaps it was a great sympathy for someone, who despite having much to live for, feels like nothing is worth living for, and that their life is worthless and hopeless, and how the drugs that are supposed to help windup causing more harm. Being famous perhaps compounds this problem because it is one of those things that cause people to feel as if no one really understands them and no one really cares.
May she be blessed, feel understood, loved, may all her tears be wiped away and may the light of life be fully restored and her heart again be full.
2014 "Never Have I Ever" on The Voice of Ireland
Delores dramatizes a time when she "trashed a hotel room" by accidentally microwaving a bottle of wine for an hour. The fire brigade came an extracted the bottle which was glowing red "like a meteor." :)
2009 Interview on RTE One
2017 Interview with BBC Breakfast