This week, giants have fallen. The earth is still trembling from the jolt.

I don’t think of myself as someone who idolizes rock stars and actors, but I have been deeply affected by the sudden deaths of David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

David Bowie as Jareth, the Goblin King (Labyrinth)

I am struggling to understand why I am so upset at the death of complete strangers. I never met either man. I never even saw them in person. I never wrote them a fan letter (and now never will). I know them only from their work, some of which I love.

Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility)

Why are these deaths so troubling? Perhaps the death of all great artists looms large for those who are touched by their work.

Maybe it’s the fact that they both died of cancer at the age of 69. I think everyone should live until 80 at least. What work might they have done given another eleven years of life?

Or could it be as simple as this? They remind me that we are all mortal, even the talented and hard-working creative geniuses who seem to light up the sky without trying.

2 thoughts on “Grieving for Fallen Stars”

  1. Hi Kit,
    I am totally in the same space as you are. Then I saw that Celine Dion’s husband had died Thursday and now today I see that actor Dan Hagerty (of Grizzly Adams fame) has also died. I think I’m in a funk about these deaths because I was in my teens when I first learned of David Bowie (saw him on either Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert or Wolfman Jack’s The Midnight Special) and Dan Hagerty (I was totally into Grizzly Adams). In a way, their passings make me feel me age (like my childhood is dying) and, like you, I am feeling my own mortality. The other truly weird thing is that they all died from cancer.

    P.S. I love the Goblin King’s hair!

    1. You’ve put your finger on part of the problem. Knowing them most of my life means I take them for granted and expect them to be there forever. If they’re gone, then I must be getting old!

      I know that as we grow older, there will be fewer weddings and more funerals. I just didn’t know it would be now.

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