I have something I want to say, something that's on my mind. (And this is usually the introduction to a long winded rant about something on my mind. I'm telling you this to allow you to run away early)
We are living in the age of our idols coming to age. The age where they look toward the next great adventure. An adventure that we can't share. No matter your beliefs, we all have our own ideas of the next life. Mine is a desert of black sand under moonlight. You can thank Terry Pratchett for that one, but I know the symbolism extends into many cultures. Terry Pratchett has shaped mine, literature is my religion. Where our heroes and heroines live on forever. It's not the standard practice but I am agnostic, so it's the best I've got. But like I was saying, this is often an adventure taken alone and we can't follow.
2016 has been a particularly horrendous year, though I suspect there has been other years where the crop of the Grim Reaper's harvest has been bountiful. Social media is an every day occurrence for most of us and so we get to hear of these passings and we get to share in the collective grief of the many.
I have mourned over people I barely knew, shed a tear without really knowing why it stings. And I fear we're all in for a rough ride over the next few years. We're living in the age of immortals reaching the end of their earthly life. These people we have lost shaped and grew with the new trends. Television, radio, cinema. With these trends we were entertained and educated. And not just musicians and the players on the “stage”, but scientists and politicians, teachers and entertainers of every ilk. They grew with these technologies, helped it grow and blossom. We clamoured for their words and their art form.
Sadly, now they have come of age and even they cannot run from the harshest performance anymore. They were young when they came to us back then, they are not so young anymore. We plead to swaddle the ones we have in bubble wrap and cotton swaddling to protect them, but let’s be honest, we can’t protect them forever.
The next few years will take a lot more and we’ll be left with the next generation of entertainers and they’ll pass too. It’s not going to get any easier I don’t think.
2016 has left me feeling burnt out and tired. My emotional state, a battleground at any other time, is feeling run down and abused. I hate myself for my emotions and my lack of control. I wish I could mourn for those I chose and ignore those that I had never heard of, but I am fragile and vulnerable to every R.I.P and GNU that I come across. I feel your pain and wish to comfort you all but I can’t.
As harsh as it sounds, for us to survive emotionally intact we are going to need to find new ways to grieve collectively. Social media has forced us to face the harshest of realities head on but we still grieve in the old ways. The ways before the internet shared everything in an instance and where we can all lament in unison at the cruel injustices of the world. We are all waiting for a bright new 2017 free of loss and heartaches, but let’s be honest here 2017 is going to be just as bad and we’re going to need to adapt before we become callous and hard in our hearts. I don’t have an answer and for that I am sorry.
To all that we have lost this year, either from our own lives or from the family of your fandom, may you Rest in Peace. You’ll live on for as long as we have your words, your voices and your wisdom. Thank you for sharing them with us.