Sunday, February 2, 2014

when people leave

I didn't even know Philip Seymour Hoffman's work that well (I'm ashamed to say) but it doesn't lessen my sadness around his death.  I always feel a somewhat selfish connection to people I admire.  But it's more than admiration.  It's a sense of understanding, of feeling that that person, too, feels the spectrum of emotion and existence.  That they "get it".  That they are somehow a kindred spirit of mine ( I told you it was selfish).  There's something in the eyes, in the essence, in the energy.  That we've both seen something and understand. Death is always sad and thought provoking, especially when it grips someone so talented, so dedicated to their craft, and yet so helpless at the hands of drugs.  I didn't see this one coming at all.  Drug-related deaths leave me feeling bewildered, confused, frustrated, and just plain sad.  Sad for his partner, for his three children, for all of his loved ones that have to hear the news today.  Sad for his spirit, which is flying now, on to the next, but hopefully always hovering and intertwined in those he loved and was loved by.  Sad because he wasn't "taken" from us, this wasn't some random tragedy.  He was 46 years old and he took himself away.  Addiction leaves gaping holes in its path..

It's unfortunate that it's incidents like these that force you to reflect, to reconnect, and to pay gratitude.  I am grateful for his work, for the example he set for actors and artists.  He reminds me of why I want to act in the first place, he takes me back to the roots, to the heart, that often gets lost in the limbs and muscle of a career.  I am thankful for the opportunity to experience the spectrum of life in a healthy way - through acting, through bringing souls together.  Through bridging gaps and reminding us that we are not alone, that we are one breathing body with one heartbeat.  His death reminds me to wake up, to stay alive, to keep going.  He reminds me of my pure love for acting.  His death cleaned my lens, the lens that so often sees the bullshit and the phoniness of this business.  With a clean lens, I am thankful that I get to act, and that I have his work to watch and to remind me of my own heart.

I am just so sad it has to be with this way.  "It's not fair"s are trickling through my mind.  I hate death.  I always have.  I want them all here.  I don't like goodbyes, I don't like endings.  I can't handle the sadness it brings, and I can't even begin to imagine the pain his family is feeling.  It's not fair.  I'll sit with my anger and sorrow and act like I am at peace with death, but it's the furthest thing from the truth.  I hate it.

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