Last night, returning from yet another holiday gathering, the status changes started coming in via texts from Facebook. “R.I.P. Teena Marie.” “Gone, but never forgotten.” And I stopped and said out loud to my mom and sister, “but she’d just made her comeback” and “I just saw her on one of those ‘Unsung’ or ‘Behind the Music’ type shows” that detail what has happened in someone’s career. As if that mattered, gave us any element of control or could change the fate of what was…that she was in fact here with family and friends at Christmas, went to sleep and was gone. Just that quick and without notice. (If you are not familiar with who Miss Teena is, this article provides a short summary.)
For me, I think the reverence and reflection from this time of year is what puts an even bigger spin on deaths that are learned about. Like there is another layer of sadness that the person was so close to seeing a new year, but now will not. Last year, it was the tragedy of Brittany Murphy dying five days before Christmas and being buried Christmas Eve. In 2008, it was the shock of losing Heath Ledger and Brad Renfro (child star from “The Client” movie) to senseless drug causes in early January and the legendary Eartha Kitt on Christmas day.
My list could go on and on, but it wouldn’t make my shock move away any faster or end my human yearning for anyone to have just another moment longer of life. For none of us will know the day or the hour. R.I.P. Lady T.