Dear Mr. Bowie,
You are receiving more tributes, accolades and remembrances today than you probably imagined possible. You have never been so famous. I wish you didn’t have to die to receive so much attention. There isn’t much I can add to what everybody else is saying; I already wrote about your importance to me in a previous post. I don’t pretend to say anything wildly different or creative, but I still want to take this opportunity to say goodbye and God speed.
I’ve spent my life trying to figure out that place/space where you are now. I don’t have any answers, of course; but you have them. A stupid, silly, sad part of me thinks that you’ll resurface soon, alive, since you titled your last video “Lazarus,” and we all know that Lazarus rises from the dead. You don’t need to come back, though. I know that. You’re done, and you probably accepted that a long time ago.
I would be lying if I said my feelings weren’t conflicted. Too many stunningly creative people die in part due to their addictions. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess your addictions had something to do with your death. It’s not something the media is going to talk about, and people might hate me for bringing it up, but when you see so much mayhem, illness and death associated with substance abuse, it’s hard not to be just a little angry.
I know. Who cares? Your death happened, it’s over and there’s nothing anyone can do about that except mourn. I was waiting to see what you would do in your 70s, 80s and beyond. I really did think you were eternal. I suppose your death brings that reality closer to us all . . . but somehow you have transformed even death into art, your best performance to date. That seems so appropriate, of course, so typical of your genius.
You leave us like Major Tom, floating off into Heaven’s blue. You were an amazing character until the end, pulling off your exit without any of us knowing that it was coming. I will never forget today, for truly it’s one of my worst and best days, the day my hero took off for outer space and both abandoned and inspired me. You kept that fundamental mystery about you down to the last second, and now you’re exploring the greatest mystery of them all.
You changed my life. You have also changed how I see death. Somehow, in some way I don’t understand yet, you have turned your death into a transformation and a metamorphosis. It’s almost like you knew what lay ahead, and you looked forward to it, with all of its strangeness. Lazarus returned to life after four days. I know that nobody will see you on Thursday, because you want to be where you are. I just wish you could tell us what it’s like.
I wish many things. Most of all, I wish you well on this long, strange trip. I will miss you for the rest of my life.
–Kirsten A. Thorne, PhD/PHW