When the news of David Bowie’s death broke out, my older sister wisely advised for my own mental health being, not to dwell longer than necessary on the thousands of tributes, music videos, and other news dedicated to this amazing man. Too late; while I reassured her I was fine, tears were streaming down my cheeks. Like many, a state of shock and denial emerged. Coincidentally, the previous week I was discussing his new album “Blackstar” with my boyfriend, praising Bowie’s dark approach to the subject of death. For the next week, I enter a state of sorrow going back to Bowie’s records hoping for inspiration to knock on my door and write my thoughts about his death; I found this task extremely difficult as the saddest fragment meant to hide those feelings.
When you grieve dead celebrities, actors, or musicians, although it’s ok to feel sad for a few hours, it seems one is not allowed to mourn as someone would mourn the death of a relative because is not “real” or it’s an exaggeration giving artists more importance than they deserve. Fortunately, I found comfort from a dear friend who understood this mourning period of mine. She wrote to me every day and heard my emotional burdens over the phone. Her voice brought me peace relieving any sense of shame or stupidity for taking Bowie’s death incredibly unbearable. She wrote a wonderful tribute for the Huffington Post capturing the essence of the white thin duke and his monumental work.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? Why some of us grieve over the death of an artist or celebrities? Perhaps the biggest reason is because this person brought a sense of closure or inspiration like we have never experienced before. Many artists have changed our society and personal views; they’re part of a culture who is hungry for changes. Bowie made it work in the most outrageous and authentic way without pondering on any conformism. He did just that until the very end of his life. Not many artists have the privileged to depart this earth surrounded by family and peacefulness. The right approach when a beloved figure dies is to remember the joy they brought to us. Trying to find comfort from friends and family can be somewhat challenging, but not impossible.
Bono once said: “There is nothing like a brush with mortality to put things into perspective. Everything comes into sharper focus, you really appreciate what you might have lost.” We need to understand the importance to give our minds the time to heal without rushing on “getting over it” remember, emotional intelligence is about recognizing our feelings and labeling them properly, without judgment, to guide thinking and behavior.
Just as depression comes in many shades, so does freedom. Crying over a beloved figure is not the synonym of acting foolish; it’s the multi-dimensional process of longing for someone or something in our emotional life. How do we motivate ourselves after a period of mourning is the next step for healing. Having an acute sense of self-awareness is something we are capable reaching. The road might get bumpy, knowing the emotional triggers are everywhere, but not everything has to be a constant torment in our lives. Don’t minimize the hurt, allow yourself some space to feel it.
The truth is of course is that there is no journey. We are arriving and departing all at the same time.
Thank you, Starman.