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Christian music star TobyMac has channeled his anguish over his adult son’s sudden death in October into a new song and music video, “21 Years,” that is full of gospel overtones but doesn’t sugar-coat the anguish and questioning the singer continues to feel over the tragedy.

“The last couple of months have been the hardest I’ve ever faced,” TobyMac wrote on Instagram in announcing the song Thursday night, shortly before its Friday morning release. “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.”

Although the hope of an afterlife “across the Jordan” is common to many Christian grief songs, TobyMac’s lyrics are particularly full of personal details about his and Truett’s relationship, expressing his wish to “listen to your latest beats / Talk about what the lyrics mean / Venmo you another loan / See you do your 2nd show.” Truett was an aspiring rapper, and TobyMac had just been to see his first public performance in Franklin, Tenn. before leaving to do some tour dates; he was away which the death occurred.

The song alludes to possible past difficulties between a rebellious son and a dad who has been a role model in evangelical pop culture, although TobyMac has posted text messages from their final days together that suggested they enjoyed a tight and loving bond, and that Truett expressed gratitude for his father enthusiastically supporting his son’s ambitions and achievements.

In perhaps the most moving verse in the new song, TobyMac sings, “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.”

Paramedics were called to the family home Oct. 23 on a report of cardiac arrest, and Truett was pronounced dead on arrival. At the time, authorities said there was no suspicion of foul play or suicide. It was reported that autopsy results were expected in 6-8 weeks. After 11 weeks, Nashville authorities have still not released a cause of death.

“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,” TobyMac wrote in another social media post Friday. “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.”

In the wake of his son’s passing, TobyMac canceled an underplay tour of intimate theaters he had planned for the final weeks of 2019. He is going through with a four-month arena tour that begins Jan. 25 at Universal Studios in Orlando, in which “21 Years” is now likely to figure as an emotionally rough centerpiece.

The full lyrics for “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