Greek George. 2016 saw a spate of celebrity deaths. From actors, writers to pop artists they died some at an appropriate age, but mostly younger before their time. Some had usual lives of family and children others barely seeming to travel through their lives without some kind of medicating support.
Whether we like it or not there is a hierarchy in death. From the hierarchy that society creates and the hierarchy in our own heads. Society gives creativity, youth and children more weight. For ourselves how about the relative in their nineties moaning and groaning about having enough of their lives. Could we not swap them for a creative artist who gave pleasure to millions?
Yet the younger deaths we can only imagine what happened to their health. The body keeps the score. Some showed that they lived traumatic lives which which played out in the limelight of fame. Their talent and determination outwardly took them out of the past lives. But when this attracted the attention of the press we began to realise that all was not well. It seems nothing even fame, or wealth can separate the past from the present.
Prince lived with both parents who divorced when he was 10 years old. He was passed around, then lived with neighbouring family. He had something to prove. His grand parents brought up in Louisiana must have had a racial experience linked to the trauma suffered by the Deep South.
From a UK perspective Greek George – George Michael had a more familiar story. From a family of immigrants and gay in the era of AIDS. He was constantly in the papers who attacked him for his behaviour. Or were they just uncomfortable with homophobia and not wanting a gay eloquent rich young man to have a different view to their own? He spoke out on behalf of anti war campaigns, AIDS and being a gay man. He spoke without fear yet paid the price for being sensitive. An experience that forced him into seclusion.
And he knew he was a damaged person. He allowed himself to be mercilessly lampooned by the character Smithy for comic relief (1:53) in 2011. Smithy told George that he cannot be involved in Comic Relief because Comic Relief is for people like him. Why would he do this? Who knows. Perhaps he felt he had a responsibility to debunk the myth around him. He felt his talent was to be emulated & admired, but not his character. The vulnerability and aloneness that he expressed through his songs connected with the listener.
But of course that was how he suffered.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2017
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This article is designed to provoke argument and critique