This week has not been good for 69-year-old famous men of
British origin. The world said goodbye
to David Bowie and Alan Rickman, both of whom died of cancer.
Screw you, errant cells of mass destruction.
As I watch my friends, family and acquaintances mourn these
two celebrities via social media, I feel a kinship to all of them. In the last 10 years, I have grieved the
deaths of my daughter and both parents—all of whom died of cancer.
This universal grief being bandied about with memes and
photos and status updates make me feel less alone in the grief I live with
every day. I won't lie, though. As unattractive as it seems, a part of me
(small, gratefully) scoffs at the dramatic reaction I have seen. "How
can I live in a world without Alan Rickman in it?" Well, Sweetheart, you simply do. Figure it out.
The better part of me, though, feels immense empathy for all
the folks who might be introduced to grief through the losses of these two
creative icons, made more intense with how their deaths were piggybacked.
Grief sucks, my friends. It's hard to wrap your head around, you can't believe the world could
move on without these people you love (even from afar), and you find yourself
stuck in this place of just wanting to crawl in bed and remember.
I get it. Oh, do I
Perhaps what I am most hopeful for would be that people who are genuinely grieving over the deaths of favorite and beloved celebrities might take a moment to connect the dots between their loss and the loss friends and acquaintances might feel on a daily basis after the death of their own loved ones.
Another thing I have noticed is the seeds of anger and
resentment from some folks about how the world already seems to be moving on
from the initial shocking news of David Bowie's death. As the story broke on Monday morning, our
newsfeeds were a veritable wallpaper of David Bowie tributes and video shares
and personal reflections of what he meant to us.
By Wednesday evening, some folks were bemoaning the absence
and comforting presence of those Bowie photos, videos and memories from
their feed. There was a hollowness in the
serious fans to see that others were already moving on, griping once again
about meaningless things or posting selfies and photos of their lunch.
Yep. In a nutshell,
that is one of the most devastating rubs of grief, of grieving. Life moves on.
No matter how many pieces your heart has
broken into, no matter how many tears you may still be shedding, folks
move on. It is the nature of the grief
beast. And for those of us who live in
grief, it stings.
I'm not certain of the significance of any of my
musings. Perhaps what I am most hopeful
for would be that people who are genuinely grieving over the deaths of favorite
and beloved celebrities might take a moment to connect the dots between their
loss and the loss friends and acquaintances might feel on a daily basis after
the death of their own loved ones. Many
of us mourn loved ones who not only shaped our lives—as I am learning Bowie
and Rickman have for so many—but people who were also part of the day-to-day
of our lives.