Death can be jarring: it knocks us when we hear of a shootout or drive-by on the local news, when we hear of war casualties or riot deaths, when our family members pass away; but a celebrity death is a far more feral gut punch than most, isn’t it?
We all know death is inevitable, and it always shakes us to remember our fleeting existence, but there’s something harrowing about seeing the wealthiest, most successful people we’ve grown to love – or at least warm up to – have their lives taken from them, and even more so when they choose to take it themselves.
A celebrity death also reminds us that the grass isn’t any greener on the other side than it is on ours – it’s perhaps just a different type of grass.
I spent almost a week researching the notable celebrity deaths of 2012 and compiled a daunting list 88 names (which you can view on my Wordpress blog in detail if you’re interested), but there were some common threads throughout the list worth noting – some key takeaways you can apply to your life now.
Here are the 4 things you can learn from the dearly departed greats…
1. Take care of your body. 28.4% of the 88 souls died from some form of cancer, 18% died from heart disease (not counting those who died in their sleep or from natural causes), and 4.5% died from a stroke. Your body is your temple, and you only get one. Feed it healthy food and work it out.
2. If you’re struggling and feel alone, get help. 6.8% of the deaths were suicides, which is perhaps the most heartbreaking way to leave this world. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your problems, but trust me – there’s always at least one other person going through the same thing you’re struggling with. You’re never alone.
3. Just say “No.” That sounds awfully simplistic, and perhaps you’ve already crossed that threshold, but as long as you draw breath, there’s hope for you. If you’ve never taken drugs, don’t start.
Whitney Houston, Rodney King, and Joey Kovar all lost their struggle with the some of the most menacing substances out there. Back away from drugs (including the legal ones) and run screaming.
And again, get help if you need it.
4. Cherish the small stuff, but don’t stress over them. The one common thread among some of our longest-living citizens is low stress: lots of laughter, optimism, and a grateful attitude.
Life’s too short to let the everyday minutiae rob you of your ability to live it. Enjoy every moment you have, for each one is a gift.
Which celebrity death shocked you most this year? Let me know your thoughts in a comment below.
Public domain image by Petr Kratochvil.