Sean Sbardella, aka lyricist Metaphysics (Meta P), was at DJ Sterbyrock's apartment getting a haircut when his father called and left a dire message.
"In a panic, he only said, 'Sean, your sister died. Come to your mom's house,' " he recalled.
"I was numb, I drove from Cranston to Barrington in disbelief," Sbardella said. "It was totally unexpected."
Lindsay, Sean's twin sister, was diagnosed with Addison's disease more than six years ago but was doing well. She passed in her sleep on June 23.
Revered rapper Meta P is known for hammering out razor-sharp bars calibrated mostly toward swag-obsessed rappers and pop-culture skanks alike (dude clearly doesn't appreciate the talents of Nicki Minaj, for one). He stays busy on the live circuit (including the wildly successful Throwback Thursdays at the Apartment with close friend Sterbyrock) and his daily (more like hourly) observational one-liners via social media sites are often scathing and hilarious (again, see Nicki Minaj). Friends turned out in full force and flooded Meta's Facebook page while he understandably remained off the grid and dealt with the unimaginable grief. That "just take it one day at a time" adage just wasn't cutting it.
"What worked for me was keeping my days busy," he told me. "There were lots of people around the first few weeks, including family from Cali I hadn't seen in years, and lots of errands to prepare for the service and just helping my mom out.
"I shut down for a few weeks for sure, sticking to close friends and small gatherings."
Sbardella had to fight off the usual demons associated with coping with such a tragic and unexpected loss.
"Drinking and chain smoking carried me through the first five weeks," he said. "Then I returned to work — I had to fight off the urge to become a full-blown alcoholic. The pattern was forming so I put a stop to it."
Ultimately, Sean found solace and relative peace of mind the best way he knows how — through the pen and pad. One week after delivering Lindsay's eulogy, Meta P penned a tribute track for Lindsay titled "Dragonfly (My Other Heartbeat)," produced by friend/producer Matty Mischief.
"Emotionally, it was the toughest song I've ever written," Sbardella acknowledged. "The words came to me quickly, but they sank in while I wrote."
Seeing you now, I guess God's needing you/After all you was so perfect — my heart beats in you . . .
I can't believe you're gone/ I can see you in the stars, I can see you in my mom
"It is very difficult trying to capture someone's essence in a song when you loved them that much. We were very close our whole lives."
The dragonfly was Lindsay's favorite symbol.
"To her the dragonfly represented beauty, and if Lindsay was ever reincarnated she would most certainly be a dragonfly," Sbardella said. "Since her passing friends and loved ones have been sending me all types of messages and pictures of dragonflies following them around.
"They're also a reminder of the beauty in the world," he continued, "and a very personal reminder for me."
Meta P is offering the song as a free download at his website (metaphysicsmusic.com), but encouraging people to donate to the RISPCA (rispca.com) in Lindsay's name, as she was an avid animal lover.