We are gathered here today
2 get through this thing called “life”
Electric word Life
It means forever
and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you there’s something else
A world of never ending happiness
U can always see the sun,
day or night.
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
U know the one: Dr Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cuz in this life
Things are much harder than the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own
And if the elevator tries 2 bring you down
Punch a higher floor!
~ Let’s Go Crazy; Prince; 1984
I read an article yesterday contemplating the astronomically high death rate this year. The author wondered if it was simply because information travels so much further so much faster now. Or is it because the “Baby Boomers” (aka: my parent’s generation) are nearing the ends of their 50’s and 60’s? Or could it be because of some sort of ebb and flow of years that have higher rates of deaths?
I think, ultimately, it just boils down to we really are seeing a lot of deaths this year.
Baby Boomers, info sharing, and/or the rhythms of years aside, I just think there are things we can’t explain. A LOT of people are dying. Cancer, heart attacks, overdoses…pick a reason. Whatever cause you choose, I’m sure we can all agree there are plenty of examples of losses due to that thing….whatever it is.
I know…I do….that people are born every day and people die every day. Somewhere, somebody is delivering a baby and experiencing joy. Somewhere, somebody is having the worst day of their life as they say goodbye to a loved one. But the number of amazing people that are leaving us all in such a short period of time is mind blowing.
I re-tweeted something that asked why we mourn celebrities that we’ve never met. The answer? Not because we knew them, but because they helped us know ourselves.
But….so many losses in such a short period of time? I don’t know. I can’t explain. Life has quit making any sense. But I do know the ones we are losing truly added magic to the world while they were here. I don’t understand any kind of God…..any entity….any kind of celestial being that would take so much away so quickly.
And I have mourned losses. Sam Kinison, Heath Ledger, Brittany Murphy. I fell the fuck apart when Robin Williams died. He was magic. He was amazing. And he was one of my favorite people.
Those are the artists that gave me a chance to learn something about myself. Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince. I mourn them because they were magic on Earth and they did help me know myself better.
Some losses I can take. Some didn’t hurt as much as others. Some I worked through. Some left me clinging to the gifts they left behind, and some have devastated me.
I will watch Alice (both movies), and I will still watch Love Actually every Christmas. But I don’t listen to Hawaiian music yet, and I don’t watch any Robin Williams movies. It hurts too much.
But if I have learned anything, it’s that I learned how to grieve each loss differently. And I learned more about myself. I’ve learned that even when it hurts so much you can’t breathe, you do survive the loss. Sometimes you’re not the same person you were, and sometimes it takes a long time to find your way back to the surface so you can breathe again.
But you do survive.