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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When you hear of the death of others who might be famous, or whom you know personally but younger than you, does it make you take a pause on life?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) December 25th, 2016

Are you spurred just a moment, if any, to reflect your own mortality when you hear of someone dying who is far younger, or maybe you are up there in age and the person is close to your age but still younger than you? Do you not even think about it because for some reason in the moment or usually you never think of your end but are focused on what you are doing in the now?

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20 Answers

jca's avatar

I think about what that person meant to me. In the case of George Michael I think about how I really liked his music from when I was around the age of 18, first with Wham and then as a solo artist. I think about how his family must really be grieving right now, really suffering. I also think that I am at the age where people who are close to my age are dying. I feel 53 is way too young to die.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think about the person, and who they were, their achievements and the loss of their talent or how their death will affect others. If they are young, I feel especially sad because it’s such a pity to lose people too soon. It does remind me of the fragility of our lives and that we never know quite when our own time will end. It does remind me that we should all make the most of each day.

With George Michael, I find myself thinking of his family. His mother and father and siblings and how sad it is to lose someone we love. I also feel sad because he seemed to struggle with life. For all his talent, wealth and success, he never seemed to find true, simple happiness. That’s very sad. Comments from his peers suggest he was a kind and generous man. I feel sad that for many people, his memory will be tainted by his mistakes in life. Things he did that brought him notoriety. However, I think those errors are just evidence of his struggle to find peace.

kritiper's avatar

Death itself doesn’t affect me. How quickly the person died does. Did they suffer? For how long? Did they know death was pending? For how long?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I wonder how or if I would be remembered.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

When I was in nursing school, I worked as a nurse’s aid in a large regional hospital. I was so hot into my new profesion I never took breaks and spent all my down time talking with patients. I was 40 years old and had been around the block a few times. No tender young lad was I.

One night, on a med-surge floor, we admitted a 27 year-old female, mother of two. Toxic Shock Syndrome. She came through the ER, then sent to the ICU where she was sabilized, then to us for 48 hours observation before being DC’d home. She was a very sweet girl and very scared. She’d never had a close brush with death before.

Her vital signs were normal, she was alert and oriented and her skin was pink as a toddler’s. She appeared to be in the peak of health. The ICU had done a good job. Nobody was worried about her chances of recovery. At the end of shift, I dropped by her room and spent about an hour holding her hand and telling her she was out of trouble, that there was no indication of relapse. We talked about our mutual life experiences, her kids, their puppy, the future… it was a good conversation. When I left her she was smiling and ready to get some sleep. She had been through a lot.

The next afternoon, I came in for my shift and asked about her. She had died in her sleep that night after I left her.. I can’t tell you how deeply this affected me—on many leverls—as a nurse, as a spouse, as a human being. I couldn’t believe someone so vital, so young and positve, could just die like that with no warning. I really had problems getting through that shift.

I did twenty-three years as an RN and I’ve wittnessed a lot of people passing, but that one girl and our conversation has stuck with me for almost 30 years like it happened last night. She was the first one younger than myself.

The young ones break your heart. During my pediatric practicum during my second year of school, I was assigned a nine year-old boy with Wilm’s Tumor. My job was to observe his condition, response to treatment and document. He was a great little kid. We spent a lot of time together playing wiffel ball in the kid’s room on the pediatric floor. He got sick about three weeks into my tour and was gone before the end of the semester. I remember our last conversation at bedside. He thanked me for being his friend and said to not worry, that God was waiting for him. It took every bit of strength not to lose it right then and there. I knew at that very moment that I could never do pediatrics.

The young ones get to me. They never had a chance to live a life. It was dangled out in front of them, then yanked away. It makes no sense and I think that is the reason I don’t spend a lot of time trying to make sense of this world by asking all the philosophical and religious questions that a lot of other people do. It often makes me look shallow, but my time is better spent living the life that was denied those kids, and not spending that life questioning it.

zenvelo's avatar

It isn’t so much focused on my own mortality, but reminded once again to live life as fully and positively as I can.

Cruiser's avatar

When a person I know of passes….being famous has far less to do with how I feel about how they impacted my life. George Michaels passing is sad but pales in comparison to my parents or my 3 Frat brothers who have passed on so far.

snowberry's avatar

I settled that question for myself 40 years ago. Now I seek to help the living. I don’t care if they were/are famous or not.

Aethelwine's avatar

If they are younger than me, yes.

flutherother's avatar

Take a pause on life certainly. Sometimes it’s as if they take a little bit of you with them.

JLeslie's avatar

Now I pause. I feel like it is a reminder that I better do what I want to do while I can do it.

Sneki95's avatar

I hear about death all the time. People die left and right. I’m mostly used to hear about it.
The dying itself does not affect me. It’s the way someone died. I know of people who died almost out of the blue, for the most absurd reasons possible. Those deaths could’ve been avoided and their lives could’ve been saved. People died because of someone else’s carelessness on or pure accident. That is absurd and shocking. It is also sad to hear about people dying simply because they’re of wrong faith or place of birth or even gender and sex. Those people died simply because they’ve been at the wrong place at the wrong time. They died because they existed. That is infuriating.
Death itself doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is not that someone died, but the reasons of their death.
If there is one thing it teaches me about myself, it’s that I can die any moment, out of all reasons possible. I don’t really fear the reaper, he is always somewhere behind me. He can take my soul at any moment. I ain’t afraid of him. I’m used to the guy. I only hope my death will be quick and at least somewhat sensible.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The trouble is that it now happens with a frequency that renders one immune through repetition. It is no longer the exception, and now routine.

kritiper's avatar

@stanleybmanly Wait until antibiotics become TOTALLY useless, if you think death occurs all too frequently now!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus I remember our last conversation at bedside. He thanked me for being his friend and said to not worry, that God was waiting for him. It took every bit of strength not to lose it right then and there.
Just so I am reading you correctly, you losing it had no root in your thinking the kid a foolish dote believing he will be with God once he died, but something else?

@zenvelo It isn’t so much focused on my own mortality, but reminded once again to live life as fully and positively as I can.
How well has it been working? To live positively is more plausible as it doesn’t require time or money. To live fully would appear as what if in order to have the supposed basics one had to work 14 hour days 6 days out of the week, can they live fully with so little free time or that is the point, fully is all arbitrary to those who have to measure it for themselves?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Death always makes me pause.

YARNLADY's avatar

My parents both passed away in their early 60’s. I’m a full decade past them now, but there’s a good reason. They were both heavy cigarette smokers. Most of my relatives lived well into their 80’s and 90’s, so I expect to do the same. I’m aiming for 100+

I believe celebrities usually live very hard lives, and that could lead to early death.

Pachy's avatar

I couldn’t say it better than this

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