I don’t normally do celebrity obituary posts.
The main reason is that for the most part that celebrities don’t really play any big part in my life – very few of them really touch my heart or move me. So it seems a bit crass to be pouring out my heart about them. I’ll save my grieving for the people that really matter to me and not join in with the publicity seekers.
So normally I don’t suppose I would have said anything on here about David Bowie. But it just so happens that yesterday was a day that I was thinking about death and what it means anyway, as I attended the funeral of my uncle Allen Morgan.
Allen was a quiet man, calm and peaceful in that brooding Welsh way. I wasn’t very close to him – he and my auntie Jessie kept themselves to themselves for the most part, although whenever I did meet them at family occasions I was always drawn to them both – fascinating personalities.
They came to mum’s funeral in August – I was surprised and really pleased – Auntie Jessie is my dad’s sister and my parents divorced more than 30 years ago, so it was really kind and lovely of her to turn out to see mum off. And Allen was there, calm , unflappable and looking very healthy…
They found out that Allen had pancreatic cancer just before Christmas, and two weeks later he was gone. My cousin said it was just about enough time to say goodbye, but still a very sudden shock for all concerned.
So to hear that David Bowie had died from cancer, whilst driving to Allen’s funeral, thinking about Allen’s sudden death from cancer and my mum’s death from cancer only four months ago just added an extra scrap of poignancy to the day. Bowie’s music has touched me at several stages throughout my life, and is one of the areas where my daughter’s musical tastes and mine converge and so maybe he is more than just another celebrity to me.
And so I find myself thinking of David Bowie, not just as a genius and multi-talented musician, but also as a husband and father to a teenage daughter and grown up son. When I think of the agony I went through during my mum’s last few weeks and the attention from all of her friends (that wasn’t always welcome), I can quite understand why his family chose not to divulge his disease while he was fighting it, and why even now they are being coy about what type of cancer it was. They want us to remember him for what he did not for what he had, and I’m sure they just wanted to avoid the inevitable media circus that follows celebrity cancer patients.
It really doesn’t matter when somebody is dying – stop worrying about the disease they are dying from and keep celebrating the wonderful human being that they were. My mum and my uncle were not their diseases – they were amazing people who touched the world in so many little ways. They didn’t have the audience or reach that David Bowie had – but who cares – within the confines of their own world they gave love and support and care and touched so many people – and that at the end of the day is what it is all about.
There was a space in the funeral yesterday with music for quiet reflection. It wasn’t rock music but I still found myself reflecting on all the souls who have touched my life and then departed, those who I knew personally and those who I only appreciated from afar. It was just beautiful.
But I’m going to give the last word here to my auntie Jessie who has been completely amazing thoroughout my mum’s and her own husband’s passing. She is a Spiritualist and firmly believes that their souls have gone on to another place, that both have arrived where they are supposed to be and that they are happy and free from pain.
She wrote a poem for Allen’s funeral, which helps me with my grief for mum and which I also send out to David Bowie’s family and anyone else who is mourning him right now.
Eternal Life – by Jessie Morgan
Energy and Matter
Spread apart and come together constantly
We move and change within this mystery
Dully, Crazily, Earnestly, Diligently
Joining and Parting
Moving in and out of lives eternally
Life is eternal
It cannot be destroyed
And death is just another step in the continuum of life
Life was before birth and is after death
I raise a glass to my mum and to my uncle Allen and to David Bowie, and anybody else that has died recently and gone to the other place.