How is it that we can be so deeply touched by the passing of a stranger? Someone we have never met, someone to whom we are not related, and someone with whom we did not have day-to-day dealings… yet it still hits us so hard.
I am no stranger to the effect of loved ones and colleagues passing, whether suddenly or through illness, male, female, older and younger. Each passing seems to bring its own unique spectrum of emotions and grief.
With the recent passing of icons like Prince and David Bowie one cannot help but marvel at the ripple effect of such brilliant artists, when their passing elicits such strong emotions and grief around the globe:
The universality of their message that could motivate and inspire, bypassing language and cultural boundaries.
The strength of their message that resonated with so many.
They said what we couldn’t… or before we could say it.
Their music formed the memorable songs in the soundtrack for the good times.
Their music lifted us up in the soundtrack for the bad times.
Their music helped us when we wanted to be alone, to look deep inside.
Their music helped us figure out who we were in our formative years.
Their music helped us figure out what made us tick.
We bonded with friends, family or colleagues over their works of art.
We made new friends or strengthened friendships over their works of art.
Their art struck a chord with us, individually and as a society.
Their works of art lift us up and propel us while we practice other disciplines.
Their works of art become the muses to inspire other artists.
I think that the passing of iconic artists and of the strong reaction just demonstrates the absolute necessity of art in all of its forms, not just music. Art challenges us, inspires us, and draws out emotional responses… human responses.
I like to think that iconic artists like Prince, Bowie and others each represent a colourful thread in the huge fabric of our lives.
When an icon passes, the thread does not unravel. The fabric of our lives bonds together stronger than ever, as we remember the influences that made us who we are today.
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