I Didn't Mean to Leave You by ZIV - now available for purchase from CDBaby

May 3, 2016 marks two years since we lost Jimmy to a heroin overdose. Shortly after his death I would wake up with lyrics and music in my head. I would go outside and pace back and forth in the driveway, smoking, crying, trying to make sense of everything. At first I tried writing a poem but realized that I needed to write a song. I had tried to write a song only once before for my Dad when he was 65. He was an accomplished musician, playing piano, clarinet and saxophone. He was the arranger for the IBM band and I was so awed by his talent. But I didn't inherit that. I played some piano as a kid, and percussion in junior high. As an adult I used to play the African drum djembe before my hands wouldn't tolerate it anymore. Jimmy also loved music. The greatest gifts he gave to me were artists and songs I hadn't heard of ... Ben Howard, The Broods, Lumineers, Sam Smith (before he was popular) and so many others. He would also show me videos - like "The Reckoner" by Gnarls Barkley. He always had his headphones on ... sometimes it seemed like they had grown onto his head. My Mom, Dad and Jimmy are gone now, but I have to believe their spirits helped me with this project. So I wrote the lyrics and the melody line and tried to assign some chords, though I knew that some just weren't right. But then I got stuck. I wanted it to be sung by a young man. I had several false starts with different people. But then fate led me to Sounds Better, where you can ask for people to bid on your project. I got only one reply, from ZIV of ZIV Music. He responded immediately with a reasonable price and I hired him. He took what I had given him and made the most beautiful song. He told me that he really felt like Jimmy was speaking through him. I am so very grateful for the the way he made it come alive. It's a sad song to listen to at first, but over time it has become a great comfort for me. The next part of my vision was to have it sung by a woman, so that those moms who had lost daughters could also have the feeling that their loved one was singing to them. I'm grateful to Kym Straton who pointed me to Sara Passamonte. She used the instrumentation that ZIV had provided, and recorded another beautiful version of the song. The last part of my vision was to create videos with the song as the background to honor my Jimmy and all those we have lost to heroin. I finished the videos and posted them on his two year anniversary of his death. My sincere thanks to all who contributed their loved ones for inclusion in the video. Although the words may not apply to all those lost, I am very grateful to all who shared their loved one with me. The most recent video is shown belown, but all videos are available on the Joan Hessenauer YouTube channel.

I Didn't Mean
To Leave You

Music and Lyrics by Joan Hessenauer (Jimmy's Mom)

In a world of such injustice
In a mind consumed by pain
The only comfort I could find
Came from a needle in my vein.
 
I know I made you worry
I could hear you sob at night
But know this now and hold it close
I am finally all right
 
I didn’t mean to leave you
I didn’t mean to die
I wish you knew how close I am
when you break down and cry
 
I know how much you miss me
But now I’m flying free
High above all the burdens
The ones that buried me.
 
My lies they never fooled you
Always ready to forgive
But I couldn’t find a single spark
To make me want to live.
 
It seemed like every bad decision
Was followed by a dozen more
Til my life was just so far adrift
That I couldn’t find the shore.
 
I didn’t mean to leave you
I didn’t mean to die
I wish you knew how close I am
when you break down and cry
 
I know how much you miss me
But now I’m flying free
High above all the burdens
The ones that buried me.
 
You did everything to help me
You were always by my side
If love alone could save me
Then you know I’d be alive
 
But when consumed by such self-loathing
That I could not see the light
It wore me down, it ate me up
Made it so hard to fight
 
I didn’t mean to leave you
I didn’t mean to die
I wish you knew how close I am
when you break down and cry
 
I know how much you miss me
But now I’m flying free
High above all the burdens
The ones that buried me.

Arrangement and Instrumentation and Vocals by ZIV