I remember looking up at the television as Jimmy Fallon re enacted a video he saw. It was David Bowie’s new release, “Lazarus,” and Jimmy was talking about how a couple parts of the video seemed to mimic sketches Jimmy does on The Tonight Show. I smiled, it was funny, and thought about the title of the song. To me, Lazarus is a Biblical theme and I thought it curious Bowie would create music with such a theme.
A few days later I see the headline. David Bowie passed away from cancer that few even knew he had. As people grieved and shared their favorite memory, the online community also started piecing together Bowie’s last work. Was his album, the song/video “Lazarus”, especially, a goodbye to his fans? The last Twitter account his account followed was allegedly “God.” Was his eternity and how he wanted to leave on his mind?
Those who collaborated with him confirmed that the Lazarus video was crafted with finality in mind, specifically, Bowie’s. He apparently knew his time was short and wanted the video to be his message to fans once he was gone. The shock to even his closest was how fast he passed. He’d turned 69 the day “Lazarus” released.
Now social media participants are marveling at another thing Bowie apparently did. He left thinking of his fans, and was able to reach them even after he was gone. Would they do the same, and how? That’s a topic flying through my Twitter feed.
I remember a couple years ago with the Dallas reboot Larry Hagman did the same thing with his character, JR Ewing. Larry Hagman knew his time was short and to the very last day to where he was able to work, he crafted an exit that was an homage to his fans and a brilliant goodbye from the writers. Very few knew how sick he was. When fans saw JR’s death play out in the plot, it was obvious Larry Hagman and his beloved JR had the last word.
Back then I thought about what would I do? Create a video? Write a letter? I know it sounds morbid, but after my father’s passing I thought about my services. It seriously better be a celebration. I fought too hard for people to live in freedom to have a boring, sad service. Thing is, every time I thought of a song I thought people should play, well, it sounded so inappropriate.
- “Arise My Love”
- “Because He Lives”
- “Celebration” (Kool and the Gang)
Those were the ones I remember thinking about that just seemed wrong, but so right for the kind of goodbye I’d like to have.
I’ve also thought about writing my obituary so it’s all ready to go. I’m torn as if that comes off as a help to my husband, who has flat out said if I go first, he wouldn’t have the mindset to create my last work. Or, does it come off as me trying to execute that last detail, that I can’t let go, even in death? Since I’ve yet to come up with an answer, I haven’t written it.
I’m curious, have you thought about having the last word, creating something for your loved ones once you’re gone? Have you already crafted something? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
For Further Reading:
(These are secular sites)