David Bowie was an icon to my generation. I loved the music, the lyrics, and the beauty of the man who showed us it was OK to be different. He did not preach tolerance. He lived it. I posted RIP online when he died. I stated publicly that I was singing 'Major Tom'. The earth, to some of us, looked 'very different' that day. Along with many others I wanted to pay my respects to Bowie's unique creative spirit.
Then came a little reaction from people objecting to this public expression of grief for a man we had never met. 'Leave the grieving to his family and friends,' we were told, as though our comments in memory of David Bowie were somehow an intrusion into the grief of those who had loved him as a man.
Iman wrote somewhere that she fell in love not with David Bowie, the public figure, but with David Jones, the man. I'm not grieving personally for David Jones, a man I never met. I am saddened by the loss of a fellow human being who touched so many people's lives.
I don't believe this trivialises his death. On the contrary, I think it's important to mark the death of public figures who inspired us and enriched our lives. We did not grieve for the death of Diana, the woman, but for the loss of a beautiful princess. Such public grief has its place, and I think it's important. It's wrong to dismiss it. Because our shared grief is a shared recognition that when it comes to our own mortality, we really are all in this together. 'Every man's death diminishes me, because I am part of mankind."
David Bowie enriched our experience of life. In sharing the loss, we are offering each other support in the face of the human condition. 'Therefore send not to know for who the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.'
It is fitting that David Bowie, who led the way in showing us how to tolerate our differences, should remind us that in the end we are all the same. When a loved one dies, our grief is personal and private. This is something different, and significant, like David Bowie. RIP.
What a wonderful blog and tribute to a man who contributed so much to the pleasure of so many people......young and not so young.
David Bowie was a trend setter of my era too and I was enthralled by his music and chameleon like appearances.
He will be very much missed by a lot of people and, respecting his wishes that he did not want a funeral, has been cremated in New York without the presence of family and friends.
Wonderfully put, once again your magic with words has expressed what a lot of us is feeling. I do not profess to have known the man only the joy and influence that he bought to our lives, it isn't belittling his passing but venerating his life.
Thank you, Gordon. Enthralling is the perfect word to describe him.
I'm so glad you agree, Anonymous. We should venerate him. He was a brilliant creative spirit who touched many of us.
Beautifully put, Leigh X
Thank you, Kate. I'm glad you agree.
I was sorry to see him go. He did some really good music that I listen to quite frequently.
And 69 is very young, Charles. Seems younger to me with every year that passes...
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