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Steven Patrick Francis Morrissey, who has touched so many hearts in his decades long career, has lost a piece of his own. The death of his mother Elizabeth Anne Dwyer was announced last week in a post that read "Morrissey's very beloved mother—and best friend, Elizabeth Dwyer, has passed away."
All were invited to her funeral service in Dublin, Dwyer's birthplace. Fans, many of whom had been offering prayers and well-wishes during her last days, poured out their love and condolences with endless bunches of flowers.
Morrissey's nephew, Sam Etsy Rainer, shared a post documenting the beautiful bouquets and displays that were sent in both Dwyer’s honour and to express fans' shared grief with Morrissey.
Morrissey had asked for prayers as his mother neared the end of her life. He wrote: "With this broken voice I beseech you, my friends, to offer prayers of hope and prayers of intercession for the recovery of Elizabeth Anne Dwyer, who is my mother, who is in trouble, and who is the sole reason for all the good and motivational things in my life.
"I ask particularly my friends in Chile, Mexico, Italy, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, the United States, Ecuador, Israel and Ireland to offer their prayers for Elizabeth - for she is all I have, and our collective pleas of petition might wake the sleeping gods.
"She is me, and without her vahaan koee kal hal … there is no tomorrow. I ask no more of you… for there could be no more to ask."
One of the most enduring things about Morrissey, both the man and the music, is his ability to appear both vulnerable and distant, impenetrable and yet amazingly emotionally accessible. The emotional reality of his songs, that have stood the test of time from those early The Smiths demos up to his most recent album, I Am Not a Dog on a Chain, reach into the heart and make the listener feel heard.
It's a rare quality in art that makes viewer feel seen, but Morrissey has that ability, and because of this, fans have an unconditional love for the man whose music itself brings understanding, solace, and a small shred of kindness and light to this cruel world.
As the flowers continued to arrive, Morrissey posted how touched he was by them, saying: "I thought perhaps I'd expressed enough defective needle gratitude for the flowers arriving at the house and adorning the gates and walls for my mother’s terrible, terrible death.
"I find I must say more - because they keep coming … from all over the world … Israel, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Poland, Italy … communicating, in their way, a whole sense of truth, one that perhaps tells us that there is no reasonable explanation how love comes and goes.
"The death of our mothers somehow tend to clear the ground for some form of reconstruction. Although technically past adolescence, this does not apply to me.
"See, the sea wants to take me, and let that be the boy’s traditional right, for we all have no interest in hanging around in order to be overtaxed, or to be repeatedly bashed about the head by the Idiot Culture that now rules England with an iron rod.
"Had my mother been the mother of some politely antiseptic Hell-given pop star, her passing would be known to all and she would light up the New York Film Festival of 2020. But, no.
"However, Love is all that matters, and those who resist it are the losers."
He's not wrong.
Morrissey has been increasingly controversial over the course of his career, but for true fans, it's only love that matters. More than anything, fans wanted to be there for Morrissey, even from afar, the way he and his music has been there for us for so much of our lives.