When Famous People Die
“Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one’s head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no tomorrow. To forget time, to forgive life, to be at peace.”
― Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost
(Mr. Wilde notwithstanding) Death is the only constant in life and yet after millions of years of evolution, how come we still find it so hard to accept it?
When a famous person dies, we read the obituary, acknowledge it with a touch of sadness and then move on.
Yet, sometimes when death is shocking, sudden, unexpected or tragically too soon, we can’t help but wonder why or mourn more deeply.
It happened with John Lennon, Heath Ledger, Michael Jackson, Princess Di, Steve Jobs….and now Robin Williams.
Shining stars with so much potential and beauty or talent or contribution and then one day, poof, gone. Just like that.
It takes a while to sink in that an icon or celebrity you saw or admired, even if from afar, is suddenly no more.
Thanks to my NY Times News Alerts, my jet lagged brain saw a message in the middle of the night in Mumbai. It began, “Robin Williams..” and I thought, Oh no!
Aeons ago, I remember watching that first episode of Mork and Mindy and then making time to watch all the other episodes every week. Actually, even before it was spun off into its own show, I remember watching his first Mork guest appearance on Happy Days with Fonzie.
Robin Williams was not about your normal, everyday humor. Oh no. It was LOL and ROFLMAO all the way. Who was this manic comic genius??!
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. Don’t lose it.” ― Robin Williams
His brilliant stand-up comedy and movies…I loved him in the wonderful roles he played in Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting, Popeye, The Birdcage…but my all-time favorite has to be Dead Poets Society. I can easily watch that again and again.
One of its unforgettable episodes is this one – What’s your verse? (click on the link or the picture below to watch). Since his death, this has been one of his most popular clips being circulated and recirculated. With good reason.
Oh Captain, My Captain!
So hard to believe you’re gone so soon. What tremendous memories you leave behind! Thank you for the laughter (and I mean the ROFL kind) that you brought to our world. We will savor it now more than ever. You bet we will.
“Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular.”
― Robin Williams as English teacher John Keating in Dead Poets Society