I know that many will be fed up with this, with the outpouring of public grief for a man that we – most of us – didn’t even know, but tonight my heart just isn’t in anything else at all except listening to his music, and reading other’s memories and stories.
Today has been one of the most unexpectedly hard days for a long time. I’ve never really been into fannish behaviour, or obsessions with bands, but this…this has caught me an uppercut to the chin, lifted me off my feet and dumped me in a crumpled heap in the corner of the room.
While I write this, my husband is upstairs playing Motorhead’s new album, and it’s almost too much, in combination.
If anyone tells me that grief about such a celebrity isn’t real, or valid, or painful, then I have no time for them. No matter how averse to their music others may be, to their fans, that music screams and cries into their soul, reaches out into their brains and holds on.
There’s no difference between feeling that for Bowie, or Bieber, Joplin or One Direction – despite what people would have you believe. That devotion, that feeling, is the same. I won’t say that my grief is more profound, more earned, just because of who it is about. The individual talents may be worlds apart, but that doesn’t change how the fans feel.
For Bowie, though…he just went beyond anything ‘celebrity’ and passed almost into myth and legend, for me, and I can’t quite latch on to the fact that we’ll never hear more from him and his talent. I wanted to see where else he went, and now…now…
He’d survived a heart attack, he’d ‘come back’ when we thought we’d lost him and it turns out he was actually just here saying goodbye. You couldn’t have wrung more emotion out of this even if it had been David Tennant in the lead role saying goodbye to Bernard Cribbins, I swear. I feel exhausted.
I think I fell a little in love with each incarnation, just that bit more each time. I found The Man Who Fell To Earth one of the saddest and most beautiful films ever, the same for The Hunger. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoiler it, but it’s vicious, and hard edged, but also stunningly beautiful and heart aching in its portrayal of love and loss.
Those two films made me experience everything along with the actors, such was their talent, and the sheer skill of the writing.
Labyrinth was brilliant, and I adore it, but it didn’t get so deeply entrenched in my head like the other two. They had huge swathes of emotion, harsh realities mixed with beauty and despair and desire and longing. You felt that each character wasn’t just a role for him, it was him, or a facet of him and his crystalline mind.
My life had him as its soundtrack, so it feels now like the tape has ended. There’s just the whickering noise of it at the end as the spool runs out and the room goes dark.
I think, perhaps, I need to watch The Hunger again soon, and of course The Man Who Fell To Earth but not for a while.
This will pass. I haven’t lost a father, or a husband, or a friend. I’ve lost those before, I know that grief well, but I have lost an ever present sound.
Saying “You will be missed” isn’t enough but it’s all I’ve got.