There’s a good chance you lost a hero this week, I did, two of them.
One a Pop God who I spent countless hours singing along to and even got to see live a few years ago, and the other was the first Princess I ever wanted to be. Both of them activists and advocates for their communities and role models for those struggling with their mental health and/or sexuality.
I haven’t been sure how to best manage my feelings about George Michael and Carrie Fisher, so I decided to just be still for a bit. Listen to Ladies and Gentleman, rewatch The Blues Brothers, reflect on the things they helped me with, and at times, through. Because that’s what amazing artists do, they allow you to put thoughts and feelings to the overwhelming moments in your life.
Good and bad.
They provide soundtracks and characters that are able to evoke and articulate the parts of yourself that perhaps you can’t. They give you something tangible to hold on to via their art.
They’re often also tied to great memories, one of the best moments of my childhood was going to the Coburg drive-in with my Dad Vincie and seeing Return Of The Jedi. We got a bucket of popcorn the size of my head, a watered down coke (which I was never allowed to drink), and I sat there in the dark next to my favourite person in the world waaaay past my bedtime. Leia was there for that important memory, she’s forever tied to it.
The grief police may try and make you feel foolish for mourning the passing of a person you’ve never met, but it’s just that perhaps they were never touched or influenced by that person in the same way you were. Ignore them, do whatever you need to process this information. I finished reading Carrie’s most recent book last night, my best pal Michael Lucas texted me with the news this morning, it was an eerie moment – he’d given me her book for Christmas. It was her diary from the first Star Wars movie, she was hilarious, witty, intelligent, flawed, self aware and a hot mess. I can’t quite believe death was able to sneak up on her.
George is on high rotation, Careless Whisper has been belted in the car 56 times today alone. I can’t begin to tell you the fun I had to his music, in my lounge room in a “Choose Life” t-shirt and really big hair. My coolest Aunty had his posters on her wall, whenever I wanted to engage her I’d bring him up. He too was tied to memories I hold so dear.
Vale George and Carrie, what you did mattered to me and so many others. Gone but never, ever forgotten.
“Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell” – Carrie Fisher.