A sudden pang of shock washed over me as I opened up my Facebook newsfeed. I paused for a moment and then read the words again.
I scrolled further down my news feed for further confirmation. “What?”
All of my social media feeds were flooded with glittery red lightning bolts highlighted with an ocean blue outlines, beautiful songs accompanied by fantastic video images, and inspirational quotes once spoken from the late singer. I was so completely caught off guard by this news that I nearly felt the birth of a tear well up behind my bottom eyelid.
I had never met the man but, for some reason, I felt the impact of his death as I sat behind my office computer screen. Why was it that I, and the entire Internet, was so affected by someone’s passing whom they didn’t even really know?
A friend posed that same question after endlessly scrolling through David Bowie remembrance posts on her own social media feeds. However, a few days later she found herself also affected by the passing of a star.
“What?” my friend had responded after I told her about the recent similar celebrity deaths. “I couldn’t really tell you the name of a Bowie song, but I found myself feeling really sad about the passing of Alan Rickman. He was a huge part of my life in a way by having such a huge role in a series that I have so much love for. Now, when I see a post about the ‘Always’ quote from Harry Potter, it hits me so much more.”
It was in that moment that I had realized why so many people were affected by the death of people, although famous, were individuals who they didn’t really know. The day I had learned of Bowie’s passing I played through his discography in heavy SoCal traffic on the way home.
Each song held a serious of notes and sounds that had captured specific feelings that had helped define certain parts of my life. They had transcended time like living photographs and had transported me back to places I hadn’t been in years.
Although I had never met David Bowie or Alan Rickman, each one of their works of art had wiggled their way and ingrained themselves in my life. I had come to know pieces of them through their works of art and through their passion for changing lives and inspiring others through the magic of entertainment. It was after really thinking about all that these people had done that made me realize how crying over stars didn’t seem so bad.