You can’t help knowing you will survive a lot of people you know directly or who have managed to make themselves part of your life at a remove. It goes with the whole “who knows?” thing, when it comes to death.
But when I signed onto Facebook this afternoon and saw a post by someone who doesn’t rush to post stuff and is pretty reliable, saying that Prince Rogers Nelson, aka “Prince” or even “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince” was believed to be dead, I couldn’t comprehend it.
This has been a crap year for celebrity deaths. Some of them weren’t a complete surprise; Abe Vigoda and Doris Roberts had reached or passed the 90 year marker. Bless them — they had long and productive lives.
But so many of the others, especially in the field of the arts: David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Vanity, Maurice White, Glenn Frey, Lemmy from Motorhead, Natalie Cole, Keith Emerson and Paul Kantner — even Patty Duke … I mean, I’m 55 and these guys aren’t THAT much older than me (except Maurice White). Each death has been like a punch from a much bigger boxer, leaving one shocked and breathless and aching – a little or a lot.
And now Prince. I commented on someone’s post that I was shocked that Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson and Prince didn’t even make it to 60. Their music meant a lot to me, mostly because out of all the eras of popular music, it’s 80s music I think I love the best. And now someone who was a major part of that is gone, in the snap of a finger, it feels like.
2016 isn’t even a third over. I’m almost afraid to wonder what’s in store for the rest of it.