An article surfaced a couple days ago about this year’s wave of celebrity deaths, the premise of which a handful of my friends have either shared or taken to paraphrasing as if it’s their own original thought. The gist of it is, “2016 didn’t kill our faves. Mental illness and substance abuse did.”
I understand the conversation this is attempting to spark. I understand that conversation has value. I understand that it’s not about me, that neither the person who wrote the article nor the people who shared on Facebook were thinking about or speaking to me. My logic brain knows this. My logic brain also knows it’s silly to be superstitious about a year killing people en masse.
But the thing is that, for me, 2016 has been characterized not by celebrity death, but by unprecedented personal loss.
In the past ten weeks alone, I’ve contended with five sudden deaths of people close to me, including the unsolved murder of a significant other. They weren’t killed by substance abuse or mental illness, just fate. Merciless, random fate. Real and impactful death is coming at me faster than I can process or make sense of it, and I can’t help but resent someone making me feel foolish for feeling cursed. I can’t help but resent a criticism of what I or anyone else may look to for meaning when faced with the loss of people who are meaningful. I can’t help but resent anyone righteously dismantling anything that people might cling to for sense or solace in a time of grief.
I don’t even know if this makes sense, but I’m tearfully angry and I needed to put these feeling somewhere.