Last night I waded through hundreds of comments on Reddit about the statement. After finding so many of them impersonal and meaningless, I posted this in response:
"Last May, I had the great privilege of spending one of the greatest nights of my life watching Tom and the guys perform. No more than 15 feet from him in the center of the 3rd row, I attended the show alone and spent an ethereal couple of hours swept up in the epicenter of Tom's magical spell. Watching him was bittersweet. He played and sang like the star he was, but because I was so close to him I could see he was struggling. I'm sure most people didn't notice, as he hid it well. I wrote down my memories from the show the next day, including that Tom looked a bit older and a bit fragile somehow. Later, I found out about his hip. He was in great pain, I'm sure of it, but he fought through it to give the people what he could- his music. God Bless Tom Petty, we didn't deserve him. I've had so much love for Tom over the years. I've always loved his radio station and I've found myself listening to it every single day since October 2. I didn't think I could love him more than I did before, but since he passed, my heart still breaks a little each day when I hear his voice on the radio. Even the lyrics in his songs seem to hold more meaning somehow than they did before. I caught an episode of King of the Hill the other day and it made me cry. Something told me to spend every dime I had to buy that ticket, to say fuck it and venture out alone to see him as close up as I possibly could. Those couple of hours felt like seconds, and yet simultaneously like everyone else faded into the background and Tom was singing just for me. Thank you for the magic, Tom, and thanks for praying for us Lost Children. I will love you and your music until the day I leave this earth."
Thought maybe a few of you would relate. I'm listening to Tom's music all day today (I do most days, but today it feels even more important). Hope you're all hanging in there.