Death of an Icon

I am sure I am one of thousands who haven taken to their keyboards today after hearing the news of the death of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in one day. I admit Farrah's death does not have quite the same impact, we all knew hers was coming because of the cancer she was battling. Michael's takes me into a flashback of when Elvis died. I was much younger of course, only in high school. But it has the same kind of shock effect.

The similarities are eerie, both young, both iconic, both heart attacks suddenly, probably both encouraged by pain medication overuse, both tortured souls from the public spotlight, both a “king”.

I remember the death of Elvis quite vividly. Never mind the fact he was in the same age range as my father, I though of him as sexy and desirable and harbored secret desires of becoming his wife (I was sure we could overcome a 25 year age difference). His death had a huge emotional impact, I even made a scrapbook of all the newspaper clippings. The death of Elvis killed a girlish fantasy.

The death of Michael Jackson is different. This time, the impact is more about his age – 50. I grew up listening to Michael, but I'm only two years younger. I remember his with his brothers, with his big nose, singing “Ben”. He and Donny Osmond were the two boys posters I would have had on my wall were I allowed to. At 50 it seems much too young to die. Maybe because I'm almost there, and my husband is already past it. The death of Michael brings my own mortality into view.

I'm glad I don't have a tortured soul. I am at peace with God. While that is no assurance of a long life left, I'm grateful that at my passing people won't be inclined to say “at least she's at peace now”. I am thankful for the life I have.

I do hope that Michael (and Farrah) rest in peace.

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