I started down a path that would have likely led to some disgruntled comments from people who would know of whom the original post was about. And therefore I retracted that information. But I will say this:
When people lament the loss of a life, “snuffed out too soon, gone before their time,” you have to really look at the circumstances around the death before we assign an appropriate check-out time. When Brittany Murphy died a few years ago after a drug overdose, there were a LOT of people outside the Murphy camp but emotionally invested (for whatever reason) in her life, saying she had died too young. Yes, she was young. But you’re never too young to die from the illnesses you refuse to treat, such as drug addiction or flammable colon gas. And how many people tried how many times in how many different ways to get Brittany healthy? Ultimately it was a psychological drive to drugs, which then killed her, which had gone unrooted and untreated, and perhaps untreatable. It’s sad. And it’s even more sad when it happens to somebody who isn’t famous, who didn’t have any money to handle expenses, and leaves behind a family to pick up the pieces. And by “family” I mean children, not a co-dependent spouse or lecherous entourage lacking any discernible talent.
And at the same time, I noted the following in a moment on-stage a few years ago, while pondering the deaths of young people.
- Young men between the ages of 15 and 27 do dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb and stupid stuff more than anybody else, based solely on testosterone, lack of forethought, and a throbbing life-boner. Driving drunk, driving fast, mohawks, energy drinks, fraternity drinking, borderline date rapes, parking lot fights, etc. Therefore they should all be defaulted into Organ Donor status. Perfectly healthy crop of lungs and hearts and kidneys can be harvested for the poor folks waiting for one of these dipshits to roll his Jeep or mis-judge the cross-wind of a bridge jump. I still can’t believe I’m alive considering the [OMITTED FOR LEGAL CONSIDERATION AND BECAUSE MY KIDS MAY READ THIS ONE DAY] for an entire month.
- The loss of realized potential is what is most crushing. The time to share Life with that person ends, BAM, done. Nothing more. Grief sets in and confuses and crushes and drives people to sadness and despair and rear-window “In Memory Of” decals. When that life ends there’s nothing more that can be capitalized upon; no professions, no vacations, no kids or grandkids or victories on competitive cupcake bake-offs.
- The person to which I thought of and referred to, originally, died before he hit 30 years old. Model-like good looks, dashed in a tragic accident. He’ll never get older than 28. He’ll never wrinkle, or gray, or sag. He’ll never wake to the cries of a screaming child 3 times a night and suffer a day of fatherhood and work and tiring of the Grind. Because he drove too fast for the conditions, and an accident happened. Really very sad, for the rest of us who are going through all of that. Nobody will ever know what he looked like as a fat, balding, bitter desk jockey. Lucky bastard.
So before we wail and groan when a life goes too soon, please look at the circumstances of it for a Reality Check. At what age is somebody NOT “too young” to die? I am hoping to die much like my great-grandfather, in his sleep at the age of 91, shot by a jealous lover.