Tuesday, January 03, 2017

2016: More losses

Yesterday I posted a list of the musical losses of 2016. There were a number of others from the entertainment, political, and news field that we also will miss. Here is that list.

Rest in Peace!

·      Abe Vigoda
·      Alan Thicke
·      Antonin Scalia
·      Arnold Palmer
·      Carrie Fisher
·      Craig Sager
·      Debbie Reynolds
·      Doris Roberts
·      Edward Albee
·      Elie Wiesel
·      Fidel Castro
·      Florence Henderson
·      Garry Marshall
·      Garry Shandling
·      Gene Wilder
·      George Kennedy
·      Gordie Howe
·      Gwen Ifill
·      Harper Lee
·      Janet Reno
·      Joe Garagiola
·      John Glenn
·      Morley Safer
·      Muhammad Ali
·      Nancy Reagan
·      Patty Duke
·      Richard Adams
·      Robert Vaughan
·      Shimon Peres
·      Tom Hayden
·      Vera Rubin- astronomer
·      William Christopher
·      Zsa Zsa Gabor

Having listed all these names over these two posts, it is only appropriate to ask, "So what?" Too many times we take these deaths of famous people as if they are members of our family, a close friend, or someone we just can't live without. I reflected on this a bit back in April after Prince died. The issue is that our lives are defined and impacted by all kinds of different events. Our stories include the events that were going on in our greater world- for better or worse.

That list above contains names of people who over the past 60 years defined certain times and places. It could be the way we responded to a TV show like The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Robert Vaughan) or the fall of Cuba (Fidel Castro.) It might be remembering where I was when our first American astronaut went into orbit (John Glenn) or the power of fiction was made clear (Harper Lee and Richard Adams.) When these people die, we remember our lives and how we are connected, impacted, changed, and grow thanks to many influences.

No, we are not acting as if we knew these people, but rather, how, by what they did, they helped us get to know ourselves better.

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