I never thought I would be so affected by the death of a celebrity as I am by the passing of music icon, David Bowie. Since hearing of his untimely demise, not a day has gone by, nor even hours, when one of his songs hasn’t popped into my head. Unable to avoid the constant reminders on television, in news papers and on Facebook, I find myself tearing up at odd times during my day as bits of lyrics come unbidden to mind. They lift off my tongue in sad imitation, my thoughts struggling to remember a forgotten line.
And why is that? Why do I feel such a sense of loss when I have hardly given the man so much as a passing thought. Not since the early 80’s when I tossed out my fan club poster, boxed up my albums and left youthful wanderlust behind for the confines of a conventional life as a wife and mother. Perhaps that too is part of the loss I feel, reminded of it though it was so long ago.
Now, in my middle years, I have come full circle, rediscovering the passions of those earlier times when I still maintained an identity unique to myself. That is what I had admired in the man, his uniqueness and his ability to retain that quality. Of course, he was a brilliant artist and storyteller, though I have just learned the later was how he referred to himself. And I do still find that I am drawn to him, unable to turn away from all the video clips of past interviews and performances-I know more about the man today than I did in the days of “Heros” when it was all about the music, before MTV.
Still, why such sadness? 69 is not so old, but long enough to have allowed the man a full life. I think it is more, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it is the knowing that with his passing something special has left us, something that can not be replaced. Or maybe it is just that his passing is a reminder that everything in this life is transient, that even a starman must one day die, fading into legend until the legend is forgotten.
Perhaps this time the legend will endure.
~ K. L. Parry