Just one month ago, suspected Aurora theater shooter James Holmes allegedly opened fire on movie-goers in Aurora's Century 16 theater watching a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" leaving 12 dead and 58 injured.
Survivors are healing, but many are haunted by the memories from the July 20 shooting, finding it difficult to return to their lives as they once were.
One survivor, Cody Hickman, a 34-year-old father of four who will be entering law school next year, was inside of theater 8, adjacent to the scene of the shootings, when the gunman opened fire. Hickman, a musician, has written a moving song of healing and tribute to the night of the Aurora tragedy and posted it on the Aurora Theater Shooting Facebook page Tuesday morning. Cody wrote on the page:
Okay, I am going to do something that I never, ever do. I am posting a song that I wrote, well before I have even gotten it down. I recorded this on my iPhone, and it is very, very rough. The singing is rough, guitar is rough, the faint sound of bells from a cat collar are rough, etc. I will admit that it was hard to get through, for many reasons. In almost any other situation, I wouldn't play this for anyone until I had perfected it, but I just wrote it, and it seems like a good time to share it.
(SCROLL DOWN TO LISTEN TO HICKMAN'S SONG)
"I go to midnight movies as a guilty pleasure, and always go alone," Hickman told The Huffington Post about his viewing of "The Dark Knight Rises" that Friday night. "That night was meant to be the apex of my summer movie viewing."
Hickman says he's doing better now a month later, but that the first two weeks were difficult emotionally. "What I am dealing with now are things such as difficulty concentrating at times or forgetting a conversation because I was just spaced out." Hickman told The Huffington Post. "That part complicates being a husband, a father of four and a full time student, but I am doing the best that I can. Things get better by small measures, but that's okay."
But Hickman says the trauma has caused a change within him that has given him a broader perspective on his life in general. "I have lost my concern for the smaller things that might have bothered me in the past," Hickman said. "It isn't that I am able to bigger than things, but rather some things just don't register on my radar anymore -- people cutting me off in traffic, the urge to not make eye contact with strangers or the embarrassment at posting a song that was haphazardly recorded and in no way up to my standards for listening."
On the song, Hickman told The Huffington Post that he wrote it out of a need to heal and said that writing this song has helped him toward that goal in two ways. "One, I just couldn't get it out of my head and like any song I write, I felt the need to finish it and move on. I would usually spend a lot of time playing it, arranging it and fixing it before I ever considered playing it for someone... but with this I just wanted to see what would happen if I took a rough take, without worrying about my vocals, or guitar."
Hickman says he spent a large portion of his life as a teen and during through his 20s as a professional musician and holds himself to a high standard for his work. "Posting [the song] was the other part of my healing," Hickman said. "I wanted to get past myself -- and all my neuroses as a musician -- and just put it out there. I may someday record a studio quality version of it, but right now it is enough to leave it alone, imperfect as it may be."
LISTEN to Cody Hickman's "The Clumsy Art Of Healing" below: