Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Anatomy Of Farewell

When Ed McMahon's death was announced yesterday I was sad but not crushed. I wasn't a big Tonight Show fan, though I fully appreciate the genius of both Johnny Carson and McMahon.

Today Farrah Fawcett's death was announced and, despite not having followed her since Charlie's Angels days, I was deeply sad. Especially because she and Ryan O'Neal had announced their plans to remarry but not been able yet to follow through. Ridiculous, huh? Especially coming from a woman who is so conflicted about the relative usefulness of marriage.

Then this evening, by chance, a neighbor told me that Michael Jackson had died. I verified with the internet and thought I should feel more than surprised. He was a much more integral part of my formative years than either McMahon or Fawcett. But I didn't. In a restaurant, waiting in line for the rest room, I saw the television screens filled with mourners outside the hospital, experts being interviewed about his career and music and I felt bad for his family and for his loss but worse for Farrah. She'd been so ill and it was just the culmination of some extremely hard years for her and in a heartbeat even her loss was overshadowed.

On Facebook the chit chat in my age bracket is nearly all of celebrity death. Gar's update was, I thought, the kindest and most satisfying, "g'bye jocko. now you are free." It was Flea, though, who on her blog gave the most fitting tribute of the day. It's short and evocative and to the point and, to my mind, does Farrah the honor she deserves.

Godspeed you unlikely trio, may flights of angels...


  1. Wow. Flea's was great. Yes! I always was happy to be Kelly.
    I'm glad you said a few words.
    I didn't have many for any of them.
    Its really just about the

  2. I feel sad, too. And have been struck by the oddness of the trio of deaths. And by Farrah being overshadowed. I'm off to read Flea.

  3. I felt the same way you did about Jackson... I mean, we used to spend Brownie troop meetings arguing about who was going to marry him (I took myself out of the running early on), but his passing, while sad and noteworthy, didn't shake me. Perhaps because the Jackson we loved back then seemed to have passed a while ago.

  4. What a week, eh? Our icons are dying, which means we must be getting old.

  5. It is a relatively wierd thing about our icons leaving...tick tock tick tock kind of thing but I was with you. more sad about farrah, annoyed that they waited on the marriage till too late, and MJ? just leave the music behind. That's all I need from him.

  6. I'm feeling very cold and calloused, and it's not that I don't care...or maybe I don't...but I don't feel affected. People die every day. A lot of people die every day.
    Is that weird? Should I have just kept that to myself?

  7. Maybe I'm naive, but I'm remembering the good in MJ and how much joy his music brought me.

    I never really felt like FF was a part of my life...and certainly not in the way MJ was.

  8. Actually, Farrah and Ryan were never married in the first place. I love that their son was named Redmond, though. He appears to be every bit the louse that his (fictional) namesake was. But without the gumption. Very sad tale all around.

  9. How true, an unlikely trio indeed.

  10. Agreed. Very sad.

    It's one thing to die a courageous death after facing a grave illness and battling it. It's another thing to encounter a sudden death.

    MJ totally caught me by surprise. What interested me were the comments on tv about his music, how gifted he was, etc. The thing is yes, he was gifted, but all these hits were from such a long time ago.

    This got me thinking - when do you celebrate accomplishments? when do you celebrate a life? Only at the end of it? It's a shame.