According to my Facebook Timeline, this has geen a bad year, particularly for celebrity deaths, which have gone on right up to now…and still a day to go. A lot of those I know have beaten breasts and gnashed teeth over these losses…and that is fair enough if that is how you handle loss. However, I am not one of those! I’m not blasé about it, but neither am I caught up in a type of collective hysteria that surrounds these deaths.
I have become very pragmatic about death over the years. I am not surprised by it, nor caught up in cries of “too young”, “before their time”, “had so much more to give” or the suchlike. Death is never fair! It doesn’t give a fuck about age, sex, skin colour, fame – or lack of, health status, religion, race or any other of the intricacies of life. This year, some have died from old age, some from ongoing or sudden illnesses, some through suicide, some for reasons unknown. It seems like a random pointing of a finger…and perhaps it is.
We act as though life comes with a guarantee – but it doesn’t. There is no too young or too old: no too healthy or too inhealthy; no soo much more to give or nothing more to give; no fair or unfair; no famous or infamous; no good life or bad life. There is no real reasoning behind it other than just being human!
To me, yes – these celebrity deaths are sad…but all death is sad, and always unexpected! I didn’t personally know these people. I didn’t touch them, or socialise with them. They weren’t friends or family, or relatives…or even acquaintances! I have lived through enough death – both personal and collective – in my life to last me several lifetimes. It has made me a realist about death, about its fickleness, suddeness…and finality. I don’t believe in God, so have no one to attribute blame to. It just is! There is no good that comes from wallowing in it for, after all, you can’t bring them back.
And as the ultimate pragmatist would say – none of us can escape it! It is the finality of being human! So, I acknowledge it – but then move on! It is just a reminder of the inevitability of what faces us all!
Tim Alderman (2016)