Sunday night I popped onto instagram one last time as I was about to go to bed. I hadn't planned to post anything but the social media, zombie-like-virus I've cultivated for the past four years wanted to see how many new likes and followers I'd gotten in the last couple of hours, and my thumb was twitching to do some double-tapping before heading to dream land.
The first 12 posts I saw were all tributes to David Bowie, and the news of his death left me completely stalled.
My incredible friend (Nymph) Gwendolyn Jane texted me moments later,
"I has a sad."
She was floored too.
The next day another model friend, the talented and feisty Natalia aka Nova, messaged me to see if I could cover her for a figure modeling gig. She had already been sick, she said, and the news of Bowie's death had her too sad to leave her bed.
I felt the same.
What's incredible, is that my dear friend Gwen lost her brother the day after Christmas. I had met Bond a number of times and he was a truly unique and bright light in this world, and the hurt my dear friend felt was palpable. I spent three hours holding her for a photo shoot as she let some of the emotions artistically vent through her incredible posing, but I didn't cried at all. Two days later, Arizona Shootout organizer and ornery old bastard/close, fastfriend David Hall died alone in an Arizona hospital. I had helped him run the last two events; I had driven him and fought with him and helped him put away groceries and listened to the stories his non-existent children would never pass on. I found out that he died via facebook, and I had no tears. Yesterday I received an email sent to a collective group of photographers and models in the Seattle area that a model, while working at her bikini barista job, was thrown from her kiosk in a propane explosion and died the next day. She was a mother of two. Still nothing.
There's been a lot of death in quite comfortably close circles to me recently, but not once was I moved to tears.
But the fact that David Bowie, a man who's career I'm honestly only superficially familiar with, died after a year and a half battle with cancer...?
I've cried every day.
I cried for Bowie, I cried for my friends, I cried for Dave and Bond and Courtney, I cried for the thousands that every day starve to death, the hundreds that drown and are shot down trying to find their right to safety and happiness, I cried for all the families who've had to lose loved ones to cancer - CANCER - fucking CANCER!! So many lost to cancer! My tears are red with rage at the deaths caused by cancer!
And I cried for those lost and cried for the empty hearts of those left behind. But mostly, the person that I have cried for most, is myself.
Because one day I am going to die too.
And that fills me with an endless, overwhelming, and true sadness.
How is it, that the death of a rockstar, can bring all of my Nonchalant, Realist, C'est La Vie Walls crashing down around my smug-ass, Dry-Eyed self?
'Because,' comforted my assistant, a man who's done more for me than any one person should ever do for another, with more patience and love and understanding than I ever thought humanly possible (I bought him his first heels, just for this event - I'm going to fall! - he squealed. No you're not - I scoffed - they're *kitten* heels), 'Because,' he said, "Bowie's immortal."
Bowie was immortal. Is immortal. But Bowie DIED, just like any and every other person and thing in existence has and will.
Just like I will.
And the thought had me literally throwing my hands in the air, yelling out loud through my tears, "WHY MUST WE DIE??!!"
. . .
Could I be more cliche?
My Anger, is a thin mask, laid upon layers and layers of Fear.
My sisters will die. My nephew will die. My best friend will die.
I will die.
This is the first time in my life I've felt such real fear at my own mortality. True fear, into my heart and into my bones, and it has left me shaking.
What a stoopid, fragile, and bittersweet gift it is to live. And to love. And the real truth of it is, I never thought that I would love so much, that I would know love this way, nor that I would ever have so, so, many that love me back.
And that is fucking amazing.
The thought of leaving any of it and any of you just makes my face and heart explode. During my recent 'hiatus' here in LA I've spent so much time pondering, exploring, probing at what it is that life is al about. What is it that I want? What is it that makes me happy? What is the point of living? Whatever it is, it is clear that I'm not ready for it to be over. Not by a long shot.
Over 200,000 people die a day (says google). Sunday, one of those people was David Bowie.
One day, one of those people will be me.
But today and every day until that moment is no different than any day before the immortal David Bowie died. When it's my time it's my time, and how dumb would it be if I wasted any of my LIFE being sad about my DEATH. How utterly redikuluss would it be to continue wasting time with the people that I love being sad that one day they'll be gone too - just like all of us!
So while my tears for Bowie are probably still far from dry (I've cried every moment of writing this), I'll end by saying quite sincerely that love you all, and that I'm working so hard to enjoy being here, each and every day, and I'm working harder to honor the ones who aren't here any longer, and I'm working my hardest to appreciate the many many many many many many many many loved ones that still are.