I read a quote a while back that said a person dies two deaths in their life. Once, when they die and again when the last person who remembers them dies. That's always stuck with me. With that in mind, Throwback Thursday will pay homage to those we've lost but not yet forgotten with the hopes of placing a memory in someone anew so they can live on a bit longer. Here's this weeks 5 who are gone...not forgotten.
1. Princess Diana (1961-1997)
Diana, Princess of Wales was one of the world's most beloved people. She was a member of the British royal family as the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne. She was the mother of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. She was The People's Princess. As Prince Harry prepares to get married on May 19th, it's sad to think his mother will not be there on his wedding day. While the royal family will make Diana part of the wedding, it's still sad twenty plus years on to think of her and a legacy lost.
Her legacy for humanitarian work still continues to fascinate and inspire millions. Throughout her life, Diana was something of a rebel. She was one of the first very high profile people to be pictured touching those afflicted with AIDS this had a significant impact in changing people’s opinions and attitudes to the disease it was certainly a charity not following the protocol and tradition of the Royal family. Princess Diana said, “HIV does not make people dangerous to know. You can shake their hands and give them hug heaven knows they need it.”
She was very at ease in meeting people from any background and even if they were ill or in hospices. Patients warmed to her life energy and heartfelt sympathy. Part of her appeal was her sympathy and natural compassion. As well as working on charities such as AIDS she lent her name to the campaign to bad landmines. Her personal support is said to have been a significant factor in encouraging Britain and then other countries to support the Ottawa Treaty which sought to introduce a ban on the use of anti-personnel landmines.
Diana was a tragic but fascinating woman. She felt pressure being a royal, but people were drawn to her because even though she was royalty, she did show vulnerability and still seemed very human. In his book, Diana: Her True Story--in Her Own Words, author Andrew Morton describes Diana as idealistic, naive, rebellious, and temperamental. "She was determined, hard-working, and a loving individual. She was a woman who battled with mental illness, the pressure of the press and the royal family, and with her unhappiness. Diana had very low-self-esteem. Throughout her life, her truest enemy was herself and she always strove to find confidence."
2. Patsy Cline (1932-1963)
Virginia Patterson Hensley, better known as Patsy Cline, was an American country music singer and part of the Nashville sound during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her biggest songs included crossover hits, "Crazy", "I Fall To Pieces" and "Walking After Midnight." I believe she was one of the great all-time vocalists country or otherwise. She sang from her whole body. Sadly, she died in a plane crash in Camden Tennessee in 1963. In 1985, Jessica Lange starred in a movie biopic of Cline's life titled Sweet Dreams. I often wonder how many more songs Cline would have graced us with if she hadn't died so young.
3. Go Ask Alice (1971)
Go Ask Alice is a 1971 fiction book about a teenage girl who develops a drug habit at age 15 and runs away from home on a journey of self-destructive escapism. I read a lot of Stephen King and Ray Bradbury when I was probably too young to read such things. I read The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer when I was in middle school. But Go Ask Alice was the first book to ever haunt me both during and after.
I watched a news report the other day about the opioid epidemic in my community and the first thing that popped into my head was Alice and her story of addiction. It was one of the first books I read that did not have a happy ending or even a thread of redemption in the end. The entire read is a raw spiral as you're along for the ride on Alice's drug addled rollercoaster ride. You know it's going to wind up off the rails. You know there will be no survivors. But it doesn't stop you from rooting like hell for her. Hoping against hope. Beating the inevitable.
I wonder if I re-read it today whether or not the book would hold up or would it seem preachy or less shocking to me today. With overdoses a daily occurrence, I think it should be something all teens and parents of teens should be adding to their reading lists.
4. Bill Paxton (1955-2017)
William Paxton was an American actor and director. He appeared in films such as The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Predator 2, Frailty, Tombstone, True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, Titanic, U-571, Vertical Limit, Edge of Tomorrow, Nightcrawler and many, many more. For years, he was the guy whose name you didn't know, but you knew you liked him.
"First, I wanna butter your muffin." that line from Weird Science, while maybe not the most politically correct quote in the world, has been a part of my go-to lexicon nearly all my life (as a joke of course). What woman could resist that one? Or how about, "Game over, man! Game over!" or "We're on an express elevator to hell! Goin' down." Those two lines from Aliens have been with me since 1986. Paxton's charisma and energy brought life to bit parts in movies like True Lies, Titanic, Apollo 13, Nightcrawler, Tombstone, Next of Kin and Terminator. He simply made forgettable roles memorable and made it look easy. So easy, I took it for granted and then he died and I realized I should have appreciated him a lot more while he was alive. He died at age 61 in 2017 from complications during heart surgery.
5. Leonard Cohen (1934-2016)
Leonard Norman Cohen was a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. His work explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality, and personal relationships. He's a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Songwriter's Hall of Fame. He also won many awards for his literature and poetry.
For me, it was his lyrics combined with a voice unlike any other. The blending of the two was like a perfect cocktail to make you musically drunk. His words and his voice could tell a story in a dream and make you wonder why you were feeling the way you were feeling. Often, it wouldn't make sense but you could sense something stirring inside as you listened to his songs. It'd be a real shame for future generations not to get lost in the works of Leonard Cohen.
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