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Analytical Arrangements: “The Last Night”

Trigger warning: Suicidal thoughts and ideation are mentioned in this article.

[dropcap style=”flat” size=”4″]S[/dropcap]oon, I will graduate high school, and writing that still feels so weird. Allow this senior to take a walk down memory lane; it feels like it was only yesterday that I was ready to kill myself, all those years ago when I was nine. I had put together all of my belongings, and I had my note ready for its role. Before I would kill myself, though, I decided I should listen to music. If it was going to be my last day on Earth, I might as well find some joy in it, right?

I found, instead, hope. I stumbled across Skillet’s “The Last Night.” It’s a song about a person that was ready to kill themselves and had declared it their last night alive, but instead it became their last night they would be alone. Skillet is a Christian band, and so by “The Last Night” they mean that the person found comfort in God, but I didn’t see it like that. I didn’t even know Skillet was a Christian band, it was just a band I found on YouTube.

Forgive the cheesy lyrics, but for my last blog post, let me share with you the song that saved my life.

You come to me with scars on your wrist
You tell me this will be the last night feeling like this

I just came to say goodbye
I didn’t want you to see me cry, I’m fine
But I know it’s a lie

The song is structured like a conversation, with the male singer acting as the narrator and, I suppose, God, and the female singer as the person approaching Him. It’s not how I saw it, though. I came across this song by accident, but I knew exactly what it was about when I heard it. “Scars on your wrist” obviously refer to self-harm, and the combination of “the last night” and “saying goodbye” clearly spell suicide.

“I didn’t want you to see me cry, I’m fine / But I know it’s a lie” is a line that hit my nine-year-old heart hard. I didn’t know anyone felt the same way I did, pretending everything was in order when in reality, the mind was engaged in civil war.

This is the last night you’ll spend alone
Look me in the eyes so I know you know
I’m everywhere you want me to be
The last night you’ll spend alone
I’ll wrap you in my arms and I won’t let go
I’m everything you need me to be

The chorus, sung by the male singer, is meant to be God’s response to the girl. I didn’t make that connection though, like I said. The connection I did make, however, was that others felt the pain that I did. What was meant to be my last night was a last, in a way — it was the last night I felt alone, the last night I didn’t know my numbness had a name.

Your parents say everything is your fault
But they don’t know you like I know you, they don’t know you at all

I’m so sick of when they say
‘It’s just a phase, you’ll be okay, you’re fine’
But I know it’s a lie

Okay, I admit, I was a little emo girl who definitely resonated with the whole “It’s not a phase, mom!” In turn, I loved this verse. This is everything I needed: an acknowledgement of how I felt. Someone who reacted to the pain by saying it’s okay to hurt and that they’ll be there until it passes. I didn’t have that in my life, and honestly, I’m not even sure if I have that now. But, I got it just in time.

This is the last night you’ll spend alone
Look me in the eyes so I know you know
I’m everywhere you want me to be
The last night you’ll spend alone
I’ll wrap you in my arms and I won’t let go
I’m everything you need me to be

The night is so long when everything’s wrong
If you give me your hand I will help you hold on
Tonight
Tonight

The chorus repeats and segues into the bridge. It was at this moment that the song broke me. Crying at 3 a.m. because nothing was okay is not a feeling I want people to experience, but my goodness, hearing someone say it made me feel overcome with emotion. The song repeated the message again I needed: you’re not alone, and I will help you.

This is the last night you’ll spend alone
Look me in the eyes so I know you know
I’m everywhere you want me to be
The last night you’ll spend alone
I’ll wrap you in my arms and I won’t let go
I’m everything you need me to be

I won’t let you say goodbye
I’ll be your reason why

The last night away from me
Away from me

The chorus erupts like a celebration, complete with banging drums and hard guitar riffs. It’s actually kind of hilarious; I misheard “I won’t let you say goodbye / I’ll be your reason why” as “I won’t let you say goodbye / You know you’re the reason why,” and that was what I needed to hear. I won’t let you die, because you deserve to know just how beautiful and special you are.

“The Last Night” saved my life that night by expelling my ignorance. I had no clue what I had been feeling could be felt by others, my feelings of loneliness, of self-loathing, of pain. Just the fact that I wasn’t alone gave me enough courage and curiosity to live another day. Today, I know I am one of millions struggling with depression. I am not alone.

What do you think of the song? Let us know below.

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