June 26, 2009

Celebrity deaths

The deaths yesterday of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson have stirred the internet. So many of my friends are posting on Facebook about the profound impact MJ had on their musical lives. I think what disturbs them the most is that an age peer has died an untimely death.

Well, that's one I've grappled with many times in the past seven years. I've sat the death watch for young women in their 20s. One friend only wanted to live to celebrate her 30th birthday. She did -- and a month later was dead. And when I worked in the AIDS world, my colleagues had all been to many more funerals than their parents had ever attended.

Yes, it's a tragedy when a young person dies. It's not supposed to happen that way. Death is supposed to come when we have lived a rich, full life, accomplished our goals, and are surrounded by those we love. Preferably when we are in our 90s. So my guess is that MJ and Farrah's deaths hit too close to home for my friends who are in their 40s and 50s.

And by the way, what's up with all the coverage of Farrah? I tuned in to Dateline last night and not once did anyone mention anal cancer, much less advanced or metastatic disease. Now I don't know the details of Farrah's cancer, but maybe those words are just too scary to say on TV.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right in what you say Jill.

    My brother died when he was 25 and I still feel cheated even now, 19 years later. Miss him like crazy each and every day.

    Not much coverage of Farrah in UK but loads on Mj. I am sure I heard somewhere that he had skin cancer! Maybe they didnt mention Farrahs cancer because of where it was????? Cancer is cancer and people should not be scared of it or shy away from it. My friend is in a worse place now because she didnt get a lump checked out for over 6 months!

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I dance with cancer. Oy!