We all cry when someone we love dies. It’s innate: we don’t think about it, it just happens. Something in our cells just opens up and we let out an anguish, pain, tears. That’s all fine but the biological process can be confused. Proximity, especially in this, our modern age, can be defined in weird ways. We haven’t even met the person before but by some trait, some closeness which is more than “just” space, we weep for their passing. Perhaps it’s the encounter with death on a grander scale; that a person of such immortality can be snuffed out terrifies us. Perhaps it’s the knowledge that their unique voice is gone, never to be reclaimed (even posthumous releases are not the same).
Whatever it is, I’m here to tell you that that’s fine but it’s not enough. We should be angry. When anyone dies, we should be filled with rage equal to the anguish, filled with a cry that is more resentment than loss. Our cells should burn with the passing, fire with forgotten urges to run, to hunt, to live. Forget that Dylan Thomas poem: there is no raging against the dying of the light. There is no fury that can contain death. We’re not raging against the dying of anything; we’re raging against death itself. We’re raging against the thief, we’re raging against the loss of things that shouldn’t have been alive but once they were, were cherished by all of us. By the living.
They were ours. And they were stolen from us. This is doubly true for the grand, for the non-personal, for that which had no proximity to our own body but which had touched our senses and, through a scanner darkly, our mind. The death of that is worse than the death of those who are near, more potent, less easy to reconcile, less socially acceptable. Less contextualized. To that, we must answer with rage: be alight today. Have your eyes blazing, not drowned with tears. Raise a fist to death and shake it, shake it wildly to the beat of an unrepentant drum that beats to a foreign beat. Turn your furious gaze to a million stars that burn on in silence, allowing death to do its ill-fated deeds.
Gaze with anguish and pain and rage at the passing of the Blackstar. God damn it Bowie, I already miss you.