Christian music titan TobyMac has released a new song about the sudden death of his young son Truett Foster McKeehan, revealing his grief, his questions, and his hopes to see his beloved son again one day in heaven. In the song, his pain is palpable, but so is his faith in God.
Truett was just 21 years old when he died at home in Nashville, TN on Oct. 23, 2019, from unknown or unannounced causes. Truett, like his father, was a rapper and had just played his first big show in Franklin, TN.
TobyMac, who remains one of the top Christian music artists after decades of success, canceled his tour to grieve with his family over the shocking loss of his firstborn. In several new posts on social media, he says he didn't set out to write a song about it, but it grew out of his efforts to work through his emotions.
In an Instagram post, he explains, "The last couple of months have been the hardest I've ever faced. Thank you for the love and support. Part of my process has always been to write about the things I'm going through, but this went to a whole new level. What started out as getting some of my thoughts and feelings about losing my firstborn son down on paper, ended up a song. "21 Years" is a song I never wanted to write. I hope it's for someone out there, or maybe it's just for me."
The last couple of months have been the hardest I’ve ever faced. Thank you for the love and support. Part of my process has always been to write about the things I’m going through, but this went to a whole new level. What started out as getting some of my thoughts and feelings about losing my firstborn son down on paper, ended up a song. “21 Years” is a song I never wanted to write. I hope it’s for someone out there, or maybe it’s just for me. Out Tomorrow.
In another post about the new song, TobyMac says, "Writing this song felt like an honest confession of the questions, pain, anger, doubt, mercy and promise that describes the journey I'm probably only beginning. The rest is yet to come. One thing I know is that I am not alone. God didn't promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us. And I'm holding dearly to that promise for my son as well as myself."
— TobyMac (@tobymac) January 10, 2020
In the song called "21 Years," TobyMac says his heart has been "shattered in a thousand ways", but he's holding firm to the belief that he'll see his son one day in heaven.
His grief comes out in the form of questions, asking God, "Why would You give and then take him away? Suddenly end, could You not let it fade? What I would give for a couple of days, a couple of days..."
He continues, "Are you singin' with the angels? Are you happy where you are? Well, until this show is over, and you run into my arms. God has you in Heaven, but I have you in my heart."
You can watch the whole song BELOW and read all the lyrics further down:
Here are all the lyrics to 21 Years:
Woke up cuz the light poured in
Day 2 let the flood begin
Day 1 left me in my bed
I can barely remember it
Heart shattered in a thousand ways
They tell me pain gonna come in waves
They tell me I'm gonna be ok
I'm still waiting for the first to break
Why would You give and then take him away
Suddenly end could You not let it fade
What I would give for a couple of days, a couple of days
Is it just across the Jordan
Or a city in the stars
Are you singing with the angels
Are you happy where you are
Well until this show is over
And you run into my arms
God has you in heaven
But I have you in my heart
I just can't make sense of this
Everything is so dissonant
Somebody said he was meant for this
But I'm just straight missing him
I wanna wake up to your laugh at 2
Catch you when you steal my shoes
Say good morning, afternoon
Talk you through those "Alex blues"
Listen to your latest beats
Talk about what the lyrics mean
Venmo you another loan
See you do your 2nd show
You said you'd turn, you would turn it around
Thought that you had time to straighten it out
Told me that you were my prodigal son
But this isn't home
Did he see You from a long way off
Running to him with a Father's heart
Did You wrap him up inside Your arms
And let him know, that he's home
21 years makes a man full-grown
21 years, what a beautiful loan
21 years, I love every one
Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful son