Prince Died Today. And I Can't Tell You.

When the person you thought you would spend your whole life with is dead, there's this weird thing that happens each and every time a person of fame or celebrity dies. It kind of goes something like this: 

Holy Shit! Prince died! I have to tell Don, he LOVED Prince! Oh, shit. I can't tell Don that Prince is dead, because Don is dead too. Well, FUCK!!!!! 

It is an odd feeling to crave and long to share the death of someone else, with your husband, but then realize over and over, that you can't, because he is also dead. And then you start to wonder weird things, like, does he already know that Prince is dead? Maybe he knew way before I did. Maybe his Purple energy showed up somewhere nearby my husband's energy and their energy hung out together. I don't know if I believe all this stuff people say about them "playing guitars together in Heaven", or anything like that - it just seems rather silly. But I do know that energy exists forever - it cannot be destroyed and it cannot end - so if we are made up of energy, and energy lives on and on, then Don is energy, and he is somewhere. I don't know exactly what that means, but I know that on some level, it helps me to keep going when I tell myself that. So maybe Prince and his genius mind and musical talents have somehow met up with Don and his passion for all things guitar. Maybe their souls are chatting, if souls can do such things. Who the hell knows? I just know that whenever someone dies here on earth, I always long to tell my husband. To share in the experience of processing their death, together. And each and every time it happens, it always feels weird to me that I can't share it with him. There are so many weird things about loving someone who is dead. This is one of the weirdest. 

Also, the way that we, as a people, treat a celebrity or icon's death, is so very strangely different than the way we treat a civilian death. I always LOVE what immediately happens when an artist of some kind dies - people start collectively sharing every single thing that artist has ever done. They share it on social media, from their phones, their computers, posting links to all of the massive talent everywhere and anywhere, sharing it with the world. Eventually, people find long lost clips of this artist, and they share those too. Longtime fans of this person back in the memories of their talent, while newer and younger people become fans for the very first time. This artist is remembered in the healthiest and most beautiful way possible - by sharing the legacy of what they left behind. It is in this way, that a true artist never dies. They live on for generations, through their albums, movies, videos, dance routines, songwriting, epic guitar shredding, and whatever else. This is a beautiful thing that people do. Sharing with the universe, and keeping these people alive forever. 

So why on earth do people NOT do this same thing with people they love who have died? Their very own friends and family members, people who are literally a piece of their very soul. Why is it that it is perfectly acceptable and normal and celebrated, to share the work of famous people who have died, and share their legacy - but when a widowed person shares a photo or a memory or anything at all about their spouse - they are told to "move on", or made to feel as if they should put those pictures away. They are shamed into thinking that remembering and honoring the person who was their very heart, is somehow wrong and unhealthy, and that they must not be grieving properly if they can't let them go by now. 

The irony of that is tragic to me. We should be embarassed at the ways in which we make people who are grieving feel. If you have shared video links of Prince or David Bowie or anyone else famous who touched your soul and recently died, yet you are uncomfortable or judgmental toward someone who shares pieces of the person they lost who died - you should be rethinking your behaviors. Everyone leaves behind a legacy. The ones who are famous just get seen on a larger level. But everyone is a legacy to someone. Just because a person isn't known to the world, doesn't mean that perhaps they were someone else's world. And that person wants to share them with the universe, so that their soul stays alive forever. When the people we love die, that is all we have - that soul connection. Don't ever take that away from someone. 

Keep sharing the people you love who died. Share them with the world, and never be ashamed. 


Showing 11 reactions

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  • commented 2016-04-29 17:44:08 -0700
    Thank you Jill!!!
  • commented 2016-04-27 07:31:10 -0700
    Kelley, I too wanted to tell my husband that Prince died. It is such an odd thing not to be able to share with him. I dragged him to see the movie Purple Rain three weekends in a row. He was a Prince fan too. Thanks for writing what I feel. I hope that others pay just as much attention to the people they know as they do to celebrities.

    Rest in Purple ~ Prince.
  • commented 2016-04-25 10:05:08 -0700
    Awesome post Kelley! Your legacy of Don does feel like you allowed us all to get to know him a little! Thanks for your honesty and heart wrenching posts – they are real and helpful.
  • commented 2016-04-24 08:58:04 -0700
  • commented 2016-04-23 11:17:59 -0700
    CHRIS, thank you for sharing that here, and please keep commenting, no lurking necessary!!! This site and anything I write in it is for ANYONE AND EVERYONE whom it might affect or touch in some way , and Im always happy when something resonates for someone, widowed or not. Im so sorry about the loss of your mother, and even more sorry that your dad will not allow you or HIMSELF to let her memory and life live on in a healthy way. Keep a journal and write down every moment or story you can think of about her, or better yet, start writing letters to your mom, filled with anything you want to say to her on that given day. I promise you, it helps. xo.
  • commented 2016-04-22 21:57:28 -0700
    So very well said! I don’t usually comment, because I feel like I shouldn’t as I’m not a widow- I started reading trying to find insight after my mom died and I thought it might help my strained relationship with my father! What I’ve found though is that the grief is a lot more like my grief than his. Anyway, I had to comment because I so agree with this- I would love to be able to share this kind of grief and legacy about my mother- she was my best friend for my entire life- it seems only right to share her. Conversely, my father felt that from the moment she died that was “it.” He still gets angry with me if I mention her name/refer to her in any way/refer to a time she was alive and so on. Since he and I are the only living members of the family it makes for tense and diametrically opposed grieving styles. I’m with you Kelley, I’d rather share my mom’s legacy. Now I’ll go back to lurking. :)
  • commented 2016-04-22 12:50:10 -0700
    Well said. I had the same thought I have to tell Jared about Prince. And then I thought, shit I can’t tell him. If only everyone expressed their grief for family and friends like they do for celebrities.
  • commented 2016-04-22 07:36:12 -0700
    Well said. I saw on the news this morning that there was a rainbow over Prince’s recording studio yesterday. I guess Don was there. He knew about it before you. I’m certain of this. He’s a rainbow 😉
  • commented 2016-04-22 05:28:50 -0700
    Very well said.
  • commented 2016-04-22 00:13:41 -0700
    Brava Kelley – I hope the whole world reads this.
  • commented 2016-04-21 20:15:13 -0700
    I love how you keep Don alive. Although I never met him (also, you….that needs to be remedied some day), and only interacted with him a little bit online, I have gotten to know him through you. You truly honor his memory…. not just by how you speak of him. But by how you help others heal.

    You always talk about Don’s generous spirit. I truly believe that that spirit flourishes through your writings.