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For those of us of a certain age, it's been a sad month. People we grew up with musically, in movies and on TV, seem to die every day. It's hard to know where to put the feelings and emotions these deaths evoke. We all know these passings are inevitable because there is a whole generation who are all hitting their 70s at the same time. Nature was always going to take its course. And yet it still shocks and hurts and upsets. At times it feels like you're having your own life stolen from under you.
I think one of the reasons for this is because people like David Bowie, or Paul Kantner or Glenn Freyor Terry Wogan, are part of the fabric of our lives. They are the warp and weft upon whom we embroidered our existence, so when one of them passes away, it feels that your own life is being de-constructed and is dying off, one thread at a time.
But if you think about it, this is happening because we over 50s are the first generation who grew up with pop and rock stars in our everyday lives, for all of our lives. We're the first generation who had television from our earliest days. The first to buy millions of records. The first to tape songs off the radio, to record videos of TV programmes. We oversaw and participated in a massive expansion of both the media and the entertainment industry and it became endemic to our existence. Not just a mere diversion, but something we grew and changed with, and defined ourselves by.
When the players on the stage of our lives pass away, it feels hard to believe, partly because these people are frozen in time for us. In a very real sense, David Bowie is still a young man performing Starman and not a 69-year-old, so in some sense, it feels as though a young man has died, not an older man. And you can say that about any of the deaths this month.
Obviously, the rational side of our brains know this is going to happen more and more. Time is a ceaseless conveyor belt and those threads that make up the fabric of our timeline are numerous, so we're going to have to get used to these feelings of loss, sorrow and nostalgia.
The only way to handle it, I think, is to celebrate and not mourn. We'll never stop bloody mourning, otherwise. As that famous philosopher John Cougar Mellencamp once said, "life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone". Yeah, well, that's not helping Johnny and by the way, you're not actually called Cougar, are you? And you don't even look like a Cougar. But he's right. And it's easy to feel that as one great person passes away, it reduces that thrill. But it shouldn't. Maybe we deal with it by being thankful for what we've had and for what we've got, but realise it is all transient. We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time.We're all in the same boat, sailing on the same sea, to the same destination. One big ship of fools.
All we can do is put on our red shoes and dance the blues.