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Why We Feel So Deeply About David Bowie’s Passing?


“The Thin White Duke 76” by Jean-Luc Ourlin

The passing of David Bowie earlier this week has stirred a remarkable and loving set of emotions from Baby Boomers and younger generations as well.   We’ve all been learning and understanding more about not only the recreational joy experienced through music but also about the power of music.  The researchers have shown that music can remind us when all else seems unrecognizable.  It can heal, elicit tears and endless energy.  In the process of learning about and loving music, we’ve developed a special place in our hearts for our musical “heroes.”

Seeking to understand the outpourings for this man which I feel too, I ask myself.  Why are we all so moved?

Here are some possible answers:

  • He never stopped growing as a musical artist, performer, mentor, painter, actor; as he re-invented himself, in a sense, he allowed us, even inspired us to continue doing the same …
  • Bowie’s passing impacted us so because, arguably he was the only major rock icon of the Boomer Generation to transition off the planet who was not a Beatle…(I can already see the problems with this answer!)
  • Known as intensely private man, he shared his final illness with almost none of his most intimate people, yet in a video called Lazarus, he allowed us all to see him on his deathbed and share the profound thoughts of a human facing mortality.
  • We just loved his music!

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