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Farewell, Starman

I am not sure why, even two days later, the death of David Bowie makes me so damned sad.

When I first heard the news, I tweeted:

David Bowie is gone? Impossible. Surely it's another theatric, another reinvention, a new incarnation? My heart is full of wishful disbelief.

And I went and hugged my Labyrinth worm plushie for a bit while a hot tear or two escaped.

A user with the handle EwaSR tweeted:


I still feel like I would if someone had told me Mount Everest had died. "Well that's stupid, that's not how mountains work."


And that was exactly it. The wrongness of Bowie's death is that ... somehow, I don't quite know how, but I think on some level, he convinced everyone that he was a magical alien or Goblin King; that he was a creature who fell to earth.

And this one from Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who performed "Space Oddity" while in orbit above our planet:


Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman.

I keep getting choked up about this man I never met.

And I ask myself, "Am I more emotional since losing Mom? I was upset about Michael Jackson, but it didn't feel like this."

Maybe it's the planning ... the fact that he wrote Blackstar, his final album, when he knew he was dying. He prepared. He planned. He was deliberate and in control of his image at all times, and he left us a gift.

I feel sorriest for his 16 year old daughter. He will not see her milestones. I know he and Iman set firm boundaries on their privacy, and I applaud them for it. I hope she had a lot of time with her dad.

And while I feel sorriest for her, I feel an ineffable sorrow for the rest of us. Like a really important human left. Not because he was famous, but because he made being different okay for an awful lot of us out there. Not just okay - cool, even.

I don't know. It's hard to explain. I just know that I've cried a number of times about it. As one cartoon said, "The stars look very different today."

He really mattered, even if he was just a talented musician with amazing costumes. He used these guises to teach us. How we reacted to them said a lot about his elegance and grandeur, and spoke volumes about our secret selves.

In the video for "Lazarus," he enters a closet at the end. I like to pretend that he's heading off to Narnia to see his friend, Tilda Swinton, the Ice Witch.

And this reimagining of the scene from one of the Men in Black movies:

"You do know David Bowie is dead, right?"
"No, Bowie is not dead. He just went home."

May God's love be with you on your journey, Major Tom.

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