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Jan. 15, 2018 was the final day of the international Irish musician Dolores O’Riordan beautifully sung life. Though I did not know very much about her, she was a constant in my life. I grew up with childhood parents who (luckily) had a great taste in music. They gave me an early appreciation of the greats, primarily those who had their height of fame in the 90s.

Having a mother enthused in her Irish ancestry and an English father, my musical education leaned to artists from the U.K. Thus, The Cranberries were a band I knew well growing up. Sitting in the back of my mom’s beat-up and rusted red sedan while she ran around taking me to work with her, she would belt out the lyrics to “Zombie.” She still does that to this day, and it makes me smile nostalgically.

When I joined the Coast Guard, I was stationed in Washington state. As we were about 15 minutes away from SEATAK International Airport, there had been nothing but overcast skies below the plane. The clouds parted, and in our descent we slowly curved around Mt. Rainier. At this moment, “Dreams” came on. I’ll never forget the optimism I felt and how Dolores’ voice will always resurface that memory.

A while back, I dated a man who changed my life and who I’ll never forget. On my first date with him, during our first kiss, “Linger” came on. He remarked on this and it ignited a beautiful discussion about our shared tastes in music, all while Dolores resonated softly in the background.

Dolores and the beauty she brought into this world have been entangled in many of the major moments of my life. It pains me that I’ll never be able to thank her for always being there. Though she’s gone, I know her presence in my life will always linger.

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