David Bowie’s death (hopefully) had a different resonance for me than many other fans of his art. I’ve spent the last week considering whether or not to talk about that. As it might help someone, I’ve decided to share my thoughts: it’s fine not to be feel something more deeply because of circumstances.
My parents divorced when I was young. My father wasn’t great at replying to letters or otherwise initiating contact, and lived on the other side of the country; so, I didn’t know the everyday details of his life. Last year, my mother told me that he had told my aunt to tell her that he had been hospitalised with late-stage cancer of the throat and pancreas. I started writing one final letter, but he died before I could send it.
So, finding out that David Bowie had died of a cancer he’d kept a secret had an especial resonance.
But it didn’t hurt. Not because similarities shouldn’t hurt, or because of some lack on my part. But because it didn’t.
I understand why people feel grief again when something reminds them of that grief. But not feeling the grief again is fine too.
And, to close, one of my favourite Bowie songs: