More celebrities – musical and acting – seem to have passed away in these first few weeks of 2016 than it seems for the whole of last year – but that’s not true. In 2015 we lost Lemmy, Jackie Collins, Omar Sharif and Patrick McNee. Those particular names mean something to me, but there were many more of course who passed away last year too.
This year we started with David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams) and today, Glen Frey – the guitarist from The Eagles.
But thousands have died, thousands of those we have loved. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers. Every day is a tragedy, yet every day is a blessing too, as new life comes into being. Who knows, that new baby that is all over your social media feed could be a celebrity of tomorrow!
But is that what matters? I contemplate with despair the ‘ambition’ of many youngsters who want to be famous by hook or by crook – with no consideration for a) what it means (the tough stuff as well as the glory) or b) what they mean (their life intent, as it were).
That does not mean we should not respect those who work hard, achieve their goals, and contribute positively to society – whether it’s singer, actor, nurse or street sweeper. I think what bugs me is the ‘instant gratification’ mode that modern society breeds – we want quick answers, quick fixes, quick fame.
But going back to the death of celebrities, and the very ‘busy’ start to 2016. I enjoyed Bowie’s music, though I wasn’t a particular fan. He chose to keep his illness and his death very private. That is something to respect. Same with Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty - and Glen Frey: I have stood on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. I own an Eagles album and have sung some of their songs.
And so I spend just a few moments today remembering that hot street corner, and listening to the Eagles on the radio, and feeling a little sadness for Glen Frey’s family and friends (the announcement on The Eagle’s home page is very touching). But I know that Frey, Bowie, Rickman – those who worked hard at their craft and who presented something timeless – won’t be forgotten for many a long year; they leave a recorded legacy.
And we don’t forget our families – those we love and those we have lost. But their contribution was different, not to be shared by the world, but in what they did or gave to each of us as individuals.
Today I am grateful for those I love, those I have loved, those I have lost, and those I have loved and lost. Thank you.
(C) Photo of me taken by my friend Nadine.