Delores O’Riordan’s passing suddenly at the age of 46 is heartbreaking for countless reasons.
Her voice is immediately recognizable, her harmonies defining The Cranberries, one of the most important bands to emerge from the 1990s. For many of us, she defined our youth; our maturation into adults with emotional, political and spiritual awareness.
She wrote the songs that helped defined our relationships both with each other and with the greater political world. If Cobain and Nirvana taught us not to care, O’Riordan’s passionate, political offerings made us realize just how much there was to care about.
What many people don’t know about Delores O’Riordan though is that she spent much of her adult life in the Kawartha Lakes/Peterborough area. She was a fixture in life around this area as she balanced her career in Ireland with her life and family here.
One such person who was touched by Dolores’ presence in the area was Lindsay Storms. A graduate of I.E Weldon, for most people in the area, she’s perhaps best known as ‘Miss Lindsay’ of the Lindsay Dance Studio. She now owns and runs her own studio Yogage Studio in Millbrook, and has worked at studios all around the area including Studio 505 in Peterborough where she taught O’Riordan’s children over a span of a few years.
Lindsay remembers Dolores well, as a dedicated parent who was there for as many practices and recitals as her busy schedule would allow. Dolores would often sit in the class and do yoga to alleviate neck and back pain while Lindsay taught. Lindsay recalls how intimidating it could be to have a role model stretching a few metres away.
“Talk about nerve wracking! I had many an internal monologue telling myself to keep it cool, and not turn into a total fan-girl.”
But O’Riordan was just another mother, there to see her kids grow and express themselves through the art of dance.
“She was very sweet and we would often compare tattoos. Very approachable.”
At recitals, O’Riordan was another proud mother in the crowd. Her cell phone out, recording the entire concert. Lindsay recalls one particular recital where Delores came backstage to see how things were going and to support her daughter.
Lindsay recalls, “She came backstage to chat with me and asked if I ever got nervous about performing, and that she admittedly still got butterflies while performing.”
“She made me giddy every time we spoke. She was a huge part of my youth and an inspiration to me as an adult.”
Delores O’Riordan’s impact has been felt worldwide since the release of “No Need to Argue” in 1994. Her voice, her lyrics and the way she carried herself served as a role model for 90’s and 00’s teens and adults, particularly young women.
But it was the day to day that made Delores so special. As the world mourns the loss of one of the most important voices of 90’s grunge and alternative rock, the Kawartha area will remember her as a member of our community, a mother, and for those lucky enough to cross paths with her, a friend.