Chat with the chief: Grief

Lemmy Kilmister, David Bowie and Alan Rickman.

Less than a month ago, these were notable individuals, but following the news breaking of their deaths, they became the biggest stars on the planet. Call it their post-mortem 15 minutes of fame.

It’s ironic how an artist can be appreciated in life, but only becomes figuratively immortal after his or her literal mortality ends.

Even Leonardo Da Vinci died nearly penniless and with only a fraction of the fame that he would go on to receive in the centuries following his passing.

The most recent slew of fallen celebrities are fitting this same pattern. Their work has somehow become more valuable now that their hearts have stopped beating.

Now just like everybody else in the country, I’m caught up in the grief. We as a nation are collectively mourning these people that the vast majority of us never even met.

It pains me to admit this, but I feel as if I didn’t spend nearly enough time appreciating these celebrities in life. I never had the privilege to see Lemmy’s band Motörhead, or the “Goblin King” himself David Bowie, in concert. Also, while I’ve seen most of the Harry Potter films, I’ve never written Rickman a tear-stained letter as a plea for him to send me an autograph, nor have I demanded a picture with him after a chance encounter in a supermarket.

Instead, I was too busy spending time visiting my ailing great-grandmother in the hospital. To make it even worse, all of that time was wasted, because she died even after weeks of my visits and like, three “get well soon” cards. And she didn’t even do anything worthy of celebrity!

I just wish I would’ve known sooner that those celebrities didn’t have much time left. I would’ve done more to celebrate them in life. I could’ve cherished our shared existence on this Earth all the more in their waning days.

The tragic reality is that we get so caught up in living our own lives, and indulging in our own distractions, that the lives of others can flash by us in a blur. I was too busy making a futile effort to visit my great-grandma instead of listening to bootlegs of “Love Me Like a Reptile,” watching Ziggy Stardust and editing Rickman’s Wikipedia page.

In this time of mourning, I can only ask one thing of you readers. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Live for today, and love your nation’s celebrities while you still can. You never know when it will be too late.

DISCLAIMER: This column was rather satirical. The nation gets caught up in mourning celebrities, but we should really take their passing as a lesson to appreciate loved ones, because they won’t be around forever either. Call your grandparents everybody. They miss hearing from you.