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Eric Church Says Music Healed Him After A Tragic Loss And Two Near-Death Experiences Left Him “Shattered”

Eric Church

Eric Church’s life nearly fell apart after he had two near-death experiences and lost his younger brother, but music helped him find his way out of the “darkness.”

While talking to CBS Mornings recently, the country star revealed that he went through a long battle with depression beginning in 2017. That June, he went to the emergency room because he was feeling tingling and swelling in his hands and left arm. And doctors found a blood clot that could have killed him any second.

The clot came after a birth defect caused his rib to form too close to his collarbone. He was rushed into emergency surgery to remove the clot and a rib bone. He spent much of that summer recovering and in physical therapy.

“It was the first time, I think, in my life I had maybe evaluated my own mortality, one, but then a lot of other people’s mortality, too,'” he said.

Eric was able to get back on the road by September. But a few weeks later, he was playing at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas when a shooter opened fire and killed 60 people.

“I watched people that night hold up boots and sing at the top of their lungs,” he shared. “And then two days later, it was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. I had a lot of fans that had stayed over for the weekend to see all the shows that got killed.”

“Something about it just kind of broke me,” he continued. “I think it was the sense of what music has been for me along with them, the safe space part of it…That shattered a part of me.”

Eric Church Uses Music As “A Form Of Therapy”

Sadly, life gave Eric Church another heartwrenching experience. On June 29, 2018, his little brother, Brandon, died at only 36 years old.

Brandon passed away after having two seizures and a cardiac arrest in June 2018. Doctors determined that chronic alcoholism led to his death. Brandon had been one of Eric’s biggest supporters and best friends. The two even co-wrote several of the songs on Eric’s debut album, Sinners Like Me.

While the loss could have pushed Eric Church beyond his limits, he focused his emotions into his music once again.

“I got through it like everything else I’ve got through in my life; I turned to the one thing I know I can do,” he said. “I wrote songs.”

In recent months, the singer has focused on a residency at his Nashville, TN, bar, Chief’s. He pours his emotions out through the music he wrote that was “too personal” to put on records and says it’s a “form of therapy.”

“I want to play those,” he continued. “I want to say, ‘This is what got me through.'”

This story’s featured image is by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Stagecoach.

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