Saturday, December 31, 2016

Celebrity Deaths in 2016 and real news

This post from Christianity Today is provocative.  I agree--and don't (see my earlier post on nostalgia to get a sense of why).

Yes, it is silly for people to be saying, "Man 2016 sucked, all these people dying, let it be over."  No more people died this year than any other year, and probably not that many more famous people.  It's just who they are.  And less face it, some of them were old and were going to die soon anyway.  Yes, it's sad about Debbie Reynolds dying right after her daughter.   Maybe Carrie Fisher didn't take care of herself; 60 is young for a woman to die of a heart attack.  I don't know anything about George Michael.  Prince, David Bowie, Doris Roberts, Gene Wilder.  Nancy Reagan--a loss, but she was aged, and she missed her Ronnie.  Some were ill for a long time: Muhammad Ali (not a fan and not sure why I was supposed to be).  So that's my coldness, my "who are these people to me?" side.  

I lost my mother-in-law and three colleagues, one a young man, one a woman who had suffered from cancer, and one, a 32-year-old staff member who died from leukemia.  These all hurt deeply.  The others are passing news items.  Somehow we think the death of celebrities matters to us.  Only Nancy Reagan of those listed above mattered to me.  And of course Harper Lee.  And Arnold Palmer.  And John Glenn. And Fidel Castro.

These people were the wallpaper of our lives, the sound track.  The storytellers, and the heroes.  The ones who stood by the real leaders.  The ones who intrigued us with their ability to be the best at what they did.  And they made us laugh: Alan Rickman in StarQuest; and cry:  Alan Rickman in Sense and Sensibility.   And maybe think we could reach our goals and dreams.  And some villains.

Brexit, Trump, terrorism, the death of Scalia (huge, and never mentioned on the celebrity websites), cyber attacks, a bad drought here and massive wildfires, a tragic school bus accident blocks from my mother's home, tensions with and for police, the refugee crisis from Syria and other parts of the middle east that most Americans want to turn their heads from.  It was a year of many bad things, but a year is just a division of time with name with a number, an orbit around the globe that brings us back to the same place.  

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