My band lost its vocalist a couple of weeks ago.
He didn't die or anything; he just quit—somewhat expectedly—for personal reasons.
His departure is kind of a drag because the music we had been covering was selected primarily out of a desire to compliment his vocal style. Now that he's out, we know about twenty songs and have no one to sing them.
Yet, despite the momentary setback, the band is in many ways rejuvenated.
Rather than consider the loss of our vocalist an impediment, the remaining memebrs immediately saw the opportunity to regroup and reframe our vision of the band. Speaking for myself, I had always felt we were pigeonholing ourselves by covering one particular style of music. While the songs were fun to play, I thought we were capable of playing material that better showcased our musicianship and individual tastes. My bandmates agreed. We now have the chance to expand our tonal palette and cover more diverse and interesting music.
We have eliminated the unnecessary. With four members, we had three dedicated guys and one semi-dedicated guy, which meant we were really only operating at 75%. There may be three of us left, but we can now operate at 100%, and the band as a whole will be better for it.
We have been delayed by the experience—we spent three months learning songs we mostly have to throw out now—but it's better that it happened now instead of a year down the road. It's a step back, yes, but it sets us up to take big steps forward.
As always, it's not what happens; it's how you deal with what happens.