People die. Some of them are famous. Some of them die young, too young we often say, suggesting that they had so much more to give so much more life to live. Old people die, often they’ve had a good innings, we suggest, and we cite their achievements and characteristics. In fact, about 152000 people die every day from old age, from disease, murdered, caught up in natural and non-natural disasters, war, terrorism, famine, drought, pestilence, accidents of innumerable kinds. Little will make us feel better about death.
People are cruel. Some of them are famous. Some of them are cruel about people who die young, good riddance, they often say. Some of them are cruel about old people who die, good riddance, they suggest again, and lambast those who cite the achievements of the deceased. None of their cruelty makes us feel better about death.
If you lose someone, family, friend, favourite and admired popstar/actor/scientist/artist, unknown soldier, anonymous victim of war and terrorism, whoever, it hurts. It hurts. People mourn those deaths, it’s cathartic, although it doesn’t bring anyone back. We mourn together and celebrate lives it makes us feel a little bit better and thankful that those left behind are still here.
Whether or not you think we should or shouldn’t be mourning Bowie, Prince, Lemmy, Cilla, Terry, Victoria, Terry (that one), Keith, Merle, Alan, Cliff (not that one), David (that one), George, Glenn, Billy, Papa, Harper, Gary, Phife, Maurice, Natalie, Paul, Ronnie, Zaha, Leslie etc etc, leave us to it. This is a grave matter. Pictured, the graveyard at St Peter and St Paul’s in Aldeburgh, final resting place of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Imogen Holst, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Joan Cross and many others.