My dad died unexpectantly when he was 60 years old, the same age as Carrie Fisher. I was 26 at the time.
I kissed his lifeless body goodbye and walked out of the hospital. It was very early in the morning and I recall thinking how horrible it was that the sun was rising…that people were in their cars going to work..that Life wasn’t skipping a beat. I even heard a couple of people in the parking lot laughing. Laughing!
And I stood there, shocked, for I had just lost a man who was everything to me and because of that THE WORLD SHOULD STOP TURNING, dammit! At least, for a minute.
But the world didn’t stop. Time didn’t stand still. There was no fanfare. No paparazzi outside the hospital. He wasn’t a famous musician or rockstar; he wasn’t a celebrity, nor someone who made his living pretending to be someone else. Other than a small obituary in the local paper, the world took little note of the passing of this amazing man who worked hard and was a hero to his family.
And I see the angst on social media that accompanies the death of celebrities. And to be sure, any death is sad: whether the deceased treated their body like a garbage can or lived a healthy life, the last beat of a heart brings with it a whole host of emotions, for they, too were people loved by others.
But for me, I don’t get too shaken up by it. It’s sad, yes, but no sadder than any other death. We didn’t know them, so we mourn the memories they gave us; the icons they were. I’m sure I will declare a day of mourning when William Shatner is beamed up.
And yet, the world takes little notice of the countless lives we lose each year who never make the front page news: tiny bundles rocked in arms by grieving parents, or the weathered hands held by those much younger as they pass from this life into the next, or tears falling onto a flag draped casket of an individual who gave the last full measure of devotion to his/her country.
For these precious souls, there is no Oscar tribute or front page headline. There are no memes showing them in heaven or special hashtags to honor their passing.
So mourn the loss of someone you admired but never knew. Look back with fondness on the memories they gave you, but keep it all in check.
And on a personal note, let’s start a petition to wrap William Shatner in bubble wrap. xoxo