TobyMac pens ‘honest,’ heartfelt song '21 Years' after son's death

TobyMac posing with his son Truett, photo posted September 4, 2017 | Instagram/TobyMac

Grammy Award-winning artist TobyMac released a song Friday dedicated to his late son, Truett Foster McKeehan, titled “21 Years.”

The song is an “honest” letter from the artist to his 21-year-old first-born who died unexpectedly at his home on Oct. 23, 2019. 

TobyMac announced the song both on Instagram and Twitter.

“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,” he wrote on Instagram. 

Although he admits he never wanted to pen such a song, the Christian pioneer hopes the new single will help others who are also grieving a loss. 

He tweeted, "'21 Years’ is a song I wrote about the recent passing of my firstborn son, Truett Foster McKeehan. I loved him with all my heart. Until something in life hits you this hard, you never know how you will handle it.”

The McKeehan family has been surrounded by people who've been helping them through this tragic loss and the artist says he is grateful.  

“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,” he added.

Some of the emotional words of “21 years” say, “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”

The cause of the 21-year-old's death has not yet been released. What is known is that on Oct. 23, the Nashville Fire Department responded to an emergency call to his home for a person suffering cardiac arrest. 

Upon hearing the tragic news, TobyMac, who was on tour in Canada, flew back home to Franklin, Tennessee, to be with his wife and four other children.

The family has since launched the Truett Foster Foundation where donations made in Truett’s name will help send “vulnerable youth to college, that they may realize their God-given potential to change the lives of others,” according to the foundation's website.

One hundred percent of the donations will be used to fund scholarships in partnership with the Global Orphan Project. The Christian organization will underwrite all general and administrative expenses in honor of the aspiring musician.

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