This past week, the media has been utterly pre-occupied with two very famous people who shrugged off their mortal coils. The passing of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson has been water cooler fodder for days now - with a bizarre focus on the gloved one and a global hysteria and intrusion already well beyond the macabre.
For me and mine, death has been at the forefront in our household too, lost in the furore, but on the same day, a member of our extended family, aged 91, finally left us. She took her last breaths as her daughter held her hand, and her beloved daughter-in-law kept vigil. Her adult grandsons arriving quietly to lovingly say goodbye. What a contrast indeed to the circus surrounding MJ! Kit was known by no-one beyond her circle of friends and family, but she probably had much more of a meaningful and gentle impact on all those she gave to than she could ever have imagined - for she gave of herself, her talents and her skills without ever flinching and without remuneration or adulation. Not wealthy or a celebrity, she baked simple foods and delivered them where she felt they were needed - as a sign that someone was deserving of being cared for. She made thousands of sweaters and handmade toys and sent them out into the world to comfort, and she laughed and giggled with such contagion that all who loved her can still recall the sound.
She never counted on the cold comfort of a scrapbook of press clippings to re-affirm her worth on her deathbed and reassure her of her accomplishments, she lived her life fully, yet humbly, and her only applause was today, at her funeral, when all present clapped in agreement during the simple eulogy.
So in the coming days, when the hoped for dignity of a private family funeral for a Charlie's Angel is over and intruded upon, and the hoopla of a showbiz circus is completed (or renourished), when they've buried Michael Jackson; I recommend you reflect on what you have witnessed in the media coverage of those two events. How many well known people and performing artists, paused sadly, in carefully thought out ensembles and skillfully applied makeup to be photographed or interviewed, who was devoid of sophistry and simply gathered inside to pay their respects at the ceremonies, and how many, caught up in the image and celebrity devotion, joined a form of mass hysteria for a person they didn't know at all.
What do you think and how do you make your life worth it? Please let me know.