Thursday, June 01, 2006


Ya see kids, this post is quite morbid, but something that is usually on my mind:

Death. I'm obsessed with it sometimes. Almost as much as I am with life itself. I just watched Being There with Peter Sellers and a phenomenal performance by Melvyn Douglas, who plays the dying, but lovely rich man in the film. His death scene really really touched me and made me ponder once again on the end of life itself.

I love reading celebrity/famous people biographies, and what really strikes me about most of them is the birthdate, followed by that very unnerving hyphen, which designates the person's deathdate. It's something that seems to happen to everyone unfortunately right? You're born, you live your life, and then there comes that strange and necessary finale.

Some examples:

-John Wayne (actor) -- Dead. Cancer. Born May 26, 1907-Died June 11, 1979. Duke, the archtypical Western actor, won an Oscar for True Grit.

-Sir Alec Guinness (actor) -- Dead. Liver cancer. Born April 2, 1914-Died August 5, 2000. Won an Oscar for Bridge on the River Kwai, played Obi-Wan in the first three Star Wars movies.

-Jack Lemmon (actor) -- Dead. Cancer. Born February 8, 1925-Died June 27, 2001. Wonderfully versatile actor, Felix in the movie version of The Odd Couple, teamed in movies with Walter Matthau.

-John Lennon (musician) -- Dead. Assassinated-shot. Born October 9, 1940-Died December 8,1980. Part of the great Lennon-McCartney songwriting team, John was always the most interesting Beatle.

-Florence Griffith Joyner (stylish runner) -- Dead. Heart attack. Born December 21, 1959-Died September 21, 1998. FloJo - Dazzling track star at the 1988 Olympics.

-Jim Henson (puppeteer) -- Dead. Bacterial pneumonia. Born September 24, 1936-Died May 16, 1990. Father of the Muppets, voice of Kermit and Ernie, died on the same day as Sammy Davis Jr.

-James Byron Dean (actor)--Dead. Car accident. Born February 8, 1931-Died September 30, 1955. American film actor who epitomized youthful angst whose death at a young age gave him iconic status.

It's really really weird to me. That at one time these were breathing, feeling living entities with incredible existences, and now they're gone. Where to? And no matter how iconic, rich, or famous, they all had to die. And something really bizarre or awful ended up killing them. I know, I know, why do I even bother analyzing these dark themes?

Mind you, I don't spend my entire time worrying about how or when I'm going to die, nor do I let it control my life, but the more I contemplate my short and fragile existence here, the more I try to learn to appreciate life itself more every day--for which one of us truly knows when and where we will take our last breath? In many ways, we all contemplate death from time to time, and it is a healthy thing to do, because we must learn to embrace something that is part of our lives, even though it is kinda scary to be honest.

The natural tendency and overwhelming instinct of humans is to want to live. For no matter how difficult or cruel life can be, we always hold on to the hope of life. But eventually, one day, your body will give out, and your life shall flash before your eyes, and you will leave this place.

Death: The great equalizer.

And you and I are next.

Hopefully not for a long, long time though.

And oh yeah, Liz Taylor is still alive!


Marko said...

All great people, I really Jim Henson. His beliefs were no doctors and thats basically why he died, talkin about dying for your beliefs!

Did u see Liz Taylor on Larry King? She was on hocking her jewlery line and her perfume celebrating 15 yrs. girl is gettin old!

G-Man said...

Hey dude..I kind of was thinking on the same lines the other day...Weird.

It's always one thing when it's a celebrity or a public figure...its just an odd piece of trival. Of course, when it's your friend or family, its a completely different life changing thing.

Bill German said...

I am livin on borrowed time for sure. Why am I still alive? Being there is one of my fav flicks. (the whole simplicity of peter sellars comparing the garden and seasons to the world.

Todd said...

Thanks for the post. A little depressing on this beautiful Friday morning, but relevant, as always. Maybe I won't kill myself this weekend.

Mikey said...

I'm glad your sense of humor is back. The Liz line was priceless!!!