Friday, January 15, 2016

Good Grief

The news of Alan Rickman's death, announced a mere three days after David Bowie's, sent me reeling for the second time this week. Although I've never met either of these men, my life has been affected by both of them through their careers.

I was raised by music loving parents through the 70's and 80's. I don't recall a time in my life when I didn't know who David Bowie was. I can't pinpoint the first time I saw Labyrinth or heard Let's Dance, I've always known them. From the posts I've seen on Facebook, I know there are scores of us with vivid memories of The Goblin King from our childhoods!

Similarly, there's now a whole generation of people who have grown up with the Harry Potter world and Rickman's embodiment of Severus Snape.

Personally, my favorite of Alan Rickman's film roles is that of Harry in Love Actually. It's one of my favorite movies of all time, despite the fact that I'm not generally a RomCom type of gal. When I was starting out on my own after my divorce, I watched that movie so many times. I connected with each of the characters in some way, as I navigated through cycles of hope and grief. It's a beautiful story that shows all sides of love and loss, whether it be romantic or family or friendship. If you've never seen it, please watch it this weekend. If you've seen it before, watch it again this weekend. I know I will!

I received the news of the passing of both of these great men from Facebook posts. (Whether or not it's a healthy habit to have, I check my Facebook first thing in the morning while I'm still lying in bed.)

For all the negative press social media gets, and Facebook in particular, it cannot be denied that it is a place of unity, a place where we come together in times of crisis, or joy or outrage, to share our opinions and connect with like-minded souls.

I know people who say "So what? Celebrities are people just like the rest of us. No big deal." I both agree and disagree with this line of thinking. Yes, celebrities are people just like us, but they are a big deal and we are all a big deal. Maybe it's not on a global scale or Harry Potter level but we all affect each other every single day.

As I've scrolled through my social media accounts, and read posts from people who knew David Bowie and from fans who never met him, I was struck by these strong connections. Then I saw it again in regard to Alan Rickman. If you haven't already, you need to read this post Daniel Radcliffe wrote about working with Rickman. That's powerful stuff. I'm sure it brought Daniel comfort to be able to share those feelings with his fans.

Social media has changed the world in many ways. Some can be viewed as negative but the frivolous uses of it so often over shadow the positive, loving uses: connection, finding your tribe, sharing your thoughts with the world. Previous generations didn't have the opportunities that we do when it comes to this so I hope we are not wasting them.

Connect with someone you love today. Or better yet, more than one person. Tell your friends you love them. Then tell your favorite singer/actor/writer you love them as well! When we fill The Universe with those loving vibes, there's less room for the negative ones!


  1. I love connecting with you (and others) via social media. Even though we are all spread out I have almost daily interactions with people who, because I lived way out west I never got to bond with very often and for that alone I am grateful to social media! Family, friends, or as you say it, Tribe. Bravo.