Guest Author - Kathie LoMonaco
With the stunning news of the deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson - it's most likely the deaths of these two icons will trigger thoughts about our own mortality - and how we live our lives - or should be living our lives. I think it is safe to say that each and everyone of us would like to leave this world thinking or knowing we made a difference. And, we can make a difference, even in small gestures, each and every day.
We lost an 'angel' and we lost a 'king', the King of Pop, both leaving us on the same day. Farrah Fawcett's private funeral service (by invitation only)is taking place today, Tuesday - with a 'celebration of her life' planned after the funeral. Ryan O'Neal's son, Griffin, was turned away from the Church when he attempted to attend the funeral; a news reporter seized the moment with microphone in hand and sad to say Griffin went on TV spewing a lot of venomous remarks about his father because he was denied entrance - all of which should never have been allowed to take place. It was a despicable and disgraceful scene.
Michael Jackson's family is still making arrangements and has requested a second autopsy be performed. At this time no one knows when his funeral will take place. Michael's Will is now available to be viewed by the general public. Is nothing sacred anymore?
Farrah was 62 - Michael was 50. It is mind-boggling that we have lost these two icons who most would say died way too young.
Having entered into Midlife as a 'baby boomer' I realize now, looking back when I thought 40 was 'old' - that at 50 I feel I am finally taking time to smell the roses and hopefully coming into my own and really getting to know and cultivate myself whereas when I was younger I was just trying to 'keep on keeping on' being first a wife and mother - then a divorcee with a child to raise on my own. I had no time to think about what 'I' wanted or needed.
So therefore, each time I hear of us losing someone we knew and admired in their 'Midlife' years I think about what a shame it is that their life was over way too soon. The generations before us seemed to live much longer lives - into their late 70's, 80's and even 90's. To hear about someone dying at 50 or even 60, is that much sadder when you know they had so much more life to live - and to give.
Although I cannot speak for Farrah, and I did not know her personally, it seems to me that she embraced life with such passion. She was a good actress - she said publicly that one of the 'made-for-TV' movies "The Burning Bed" was one of the performances she was most proud of. She was Mother, to son, Redmond, and a loving partner to Ryan O'Neal, the love of her life for the past almost 20 years. She fought a courageous, public battle against her illness, both here in the U.S. and overseas in Germany. She loved life and would not give up on it. She never took it for granted. Besides Redmond and Ryan O'Neal she leaves behind her Father, who is 90 years of age. Both her Mother and sister are deceased. Farrah had a joy for life and lived it to the fullest. It saddens me to know that she will never see her son get married - and that her grandchildren will never know her or spend time with her. She will be missed.
Michael, who was twelve years Farrah's junior, had seemed to appear frail in the last few years since his trial, according to some people. There were 50 concerts planned in the upcoming months for Michael Jackson. Many people are saying that for a very fragile man of 50 years old like Michael, that many concerts would have been too much of a strain on him, physically, emotionally and mentally. I would have to agree. The training involved and the stamina that would be needed for that kind of a grueling schedule, might have, in the end, caused his health to fail. Sadly, those concerts will never take place. Little did we know that approximately thirteen years ago, Michael gave his last concert(s). It is even shocking to me to realize that he was 50 yrs. old as I did not see him as a man in Midlife. He had such a young spirit and such a zest for life. But to my way of thinking, his celebrity which caused him so much isolation and loneliness, I believe also greatly contributed to his early death. As Dr. Wayne Dyer has said: 'don't die with your music still in you' - well, I think that is what happened with Michael Jackson. I think he died with some of his music still in him. Peace be with you, Michael. As you sang in one of your songs, .....'never can say goodbye'..no no no no....never can say goodbye...'
When I hear of news such as these two deaths, it makes me realize how, as the years pass, just how much time I have wasted on people and/or employers who did not deserve my time and/or my devotion while with them. It's a hard pill to swallow when you feel you spent a lot of good years on people or with employers that did not deserve you - although not all were bad experiences; I have had some very nice experiences with superiors/employers who always showed respect for me and my work and always tried to show their appreciation in some way or another.
Some times you do have to take the bad with the good. The bad apples of this world make you appreciate the good in life that much more. You learn through your experiences. But you then also become aware that your time is precious and you need to make every minute count. Tomorrow is promised to no one. We could go to sleep tonight and never wake up. These are some of the things you become acutely aware of in Midlife. How time is no longer on your side and how you want to make the most of each and every day - and most importantly, how much you want to be with the people you love for whatever time you have left on this earth.
I hope both Farrah and Michael are at peace and with their loved ones on the other side.