Last week was a difficult week for me. There was too much news of deaths of icons and celebrities. David Bowie’s death surprised me, like many people were. Alan Rickman’s death broke my heart. Then there was news of Celine Dion’s husband dying followed by news of her brother dying and then Glenn Frey died. Not a good week.
I was talking with a co-worker about Alan Rickman and when he realized how upset I was, he asked me why I was so attached to celebrities. I was surprised because I don’t consider myself ‘attached to celebrities’, but Alan Rickman was genuinely one of my favorite actors and I feel like he was gone too soon. I tried to explain that actors are naturally fascinating because they bring life to so many characters and as a viewer, it’s always exciting to see an actor’s interpretation of a character. My co-worker didn’t get it.
To many young people, Alan Rickman will always be known as the character Snape from the Harry Potter movies. But he was so much more than that. He turned Hans Gruber a formidable opponent for Bruce Willis in Die Hard. As the sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood, he tried to cancel Christmas. In Galaxy Quest he was a hilarious has-been cultural icon trying to remain relevant while battling space aliens, for Pete’s sake. There are hundreds more roles that Mr Rickman brought to life, but my favorite of his will always be that of the recently deceased cellist in Truly, Madly, Deeply.
David Bowie was a cultural icon, of course, but in Kelly Land he was an enigma. Sure, I knew *of* him, mainly from the 1980s, but I didn’t own any of his albums and had not seen any of his movies. To me, he was simply a guy that sang a song with Bing Crosby, sang another song with Mick Jagger and was married to Iman. And he had to change his name from Jones to Bowie. And he was Ziggy Stardust in the 70s. That’s it.
But I knew enough about him to know that he was an icon, even though I didn’t fully appreciate his status. And when an icon dies, there is always a void. It is unlikely that the world will ever seen another talent like David Bowie. I’m just sorry I didn’t realize how many gifts he bestowed us and how culturally significant he was until he died.
In 2010, we visited Toronto and I explored an old cemetery because cemeteries are cool. I took several photographs of old headstones and trees, but the image above really stuck with me. The marker was contemporary but several decades old. A beautiful rose was gently laid on it and I was reminded that love never dies. I named the photo ‘Always in my heart.’ Tonight I dedicate the photo to the memory of Mr Rickman and Mr Bowie. Though gone too soon, they will always remain in my heart.