Many of you may remember the morning ritual of waking up and reading the newspaper over coffee and breakfast. These days, many of us share the morning ritual of waking up and staying snug in our beds, scrolling our smart phones and Facebook news feed. The weekend had been covered with David Bowie postings, land marking the release of his newest album, Blackstar, on his 69th birthday, and Monday morning was starting out to be no different. As I scanned the feed, three little letters caused me to pause… RIP. What? My thumb hovered on the article title. “David Bowie, Legendary Artist, Dead at 69.” What?? Sure enough, his son had confirmed, David Bowie had died quietly Sunday evening after an 18 month battle with cancer.
As Monday wore on, more information emerged. Bowie’s closest friends stated in each interview that his death came as a complete surprise. Publicity photos taken on Friday had shown Bowie standing in a dark suit and hat, face shining with defiance and joy… now were reflective of a man laughing in the face of death itself. Blackstar became a goodbye letter, and fans were avidly dissecting the lyrics and video; Bowie’s parting gift to the world.
I began to wonder right away if David Bowie hadn’t choreographed his exit. As each detail and story emerged, I became more convinced this brilliant man had planned his death… birthday and release on a Friday, spend a final weekend with his family, death with dignity quietly and peacefully Sunday evening. Monday, he would again be the center of the social media universe, the modern day water cooler.
I’ve always felt if I were faced with a terminal and debilitating diagnosis, I would not want to spend my final days rotting away. A fine example, Brittany Lauren Maynard was an American woman with terminal brain cancer who decided that she would end her own life “when the time seemed right.” Maynard ended her life on November 1, 2014 surrounded by her loved ones. It seemed logical to me Bowie may have elected for the same, and I wouldn’t shame him in the least for it… but rather applaud him.
I found validation for my own opinion Wednesday morning, with an article published in The Guardian by Ann Neumann, expressing EXACTLY what I had convinced myself with the evidence presented over the last few days…. “The death of David Bowie was well choreographed, a produced roll-out of images and information.” I KNEW IT! I shared the article via Twitter and Facebook. A week after his passing, Bowie’s son released a letter from a Pallative Care doctor that stated, “what you have done in the time surrounding your death has had a profound effect on me and many people I work with.” Me too, Doctor. Me too.
David Bowie, the man who fell to Earth, departed January 10th, 2016… and the very next day, scientists discovered Spiders on Mars.
*** The local star studded Austin Burlesque community has come together with the direction of performer Aetheria Lovecraft to plan a benefit show in honor of the late David Bowie, planned for May of 2016, with proceeds going to a local Austin charity (to be determined). Please follow http://www.blackstarbenefit.com for more information. ***