David Bowie always seemed to know something we didn’t.
About art and sexuality.
About life and the Universe.
About being isolated and alien.
And when his 69th birthday rolled around, he knew something big. Something none of us imagined.
His BlackStar album arrived to critical acclaim. The marketing was upbeat. Everyone made a big deal about his birthday.
For all we could tell, David Bowie was full of life, creating art and music as he always has.
A mere 2 days later, we found out he had died.
We were told he’d been fighting cancer for eighteen months, and now he is gone.
And he knew.
He knew this was his swan song.
He knew this was his farewell.
He planned its release and his death as if different parts of the same performance.
And it feels like he’s just gone home.
How is it that I’m not sad?
I don’t grieve him, though my heart breaks for his family.
David Bowie’s relentless art – his ever present gift given to us whether we were ready for it or not – has filled my head and heart since I heard the news.
We’re all sensing the hole in the world where he left; but it’s so full of all that he did that it’s not a terrible gaping wound – rather, it’s a treasure chest of cherished wonderments.
This man knew his purpose.
He lived large, sharing his gifts out loud in the most unique, challenging, beautiful and ever-changing ways.
And so I am not sad.
He surrounded his death with his purpose, his gifts and his family.
It could not have been choreographed better.
How can I be sad?
David Bowie is stars again.
He gave us so much, and he left it all here for us.
He didn’t stop giving us the stuff of stars. How fitting to leave us with one final BlackStar.
If only we all followed our purpose with such tenacity.
If only we all shared our gifts with such generosity.
We can follow his example.
We can be inspired.
As my friend Daniel Brenton said:
David Bowie may have no more days, but YOU do. Astonish us.
Right now, if you feel sad – feel your sadness.
Grieve however you feel right now.
And then pick up your tools and use your gifts.
Make your own magic. Be your own star.
Show us the You who shines.
And do like Daniel said.