Friday, June 26, 2009
What will your Legacy Be?
I know the past 24 hours have been a lot for many of you to digest. So many deaths of people we admired. I was reflecting on how I cope with death and it really surprised me. I found I don't like to acknowledge it. For example, I was at work when heard about the passing of both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. The first time, I let it marinate in my brain before I did some research about her. I had heard she had cancer, and I was curious about where she had it and for how long. I convinced myself she was finally out of pain. I did the same with Ed McMahon, I told myself he had lived a long life and had struggled with some unfortunate situations due to his alleged drinking.
Then I got the news about Michael Jackson, and I put my headphones on and busied myself with a to do list, and so on. I got on the train, and poured myself into my book and told my girlfriend to not watch the news and made small talk about her recent engagement to a really lovely gentleman. Once I was alone, I began to do everything I could to avoid radio, television and people I knew would be talking about the news of the day. Death.
I rang my father and he was his usual self absorbed jerk, and it made me sad. Rather than he and I finally communicate about my mother's terminal illness, my past health issues, he wanted me to do him a favor I could not do so he hung up on me. Instead of feeling sad, I went shopping. I didn't want to "feel" sad. I hate (yes, I know it's strong) feeling anything uncomfortable such as: sadness, depression, anger, insecure, etc. So, I walked around aimlessly until my feet were too sore to persist.
I got home and played with my dog, and did what I always do, I turned to eating, cleaning, reading, experimenting with makeup, all kinds of busyness. I guess I've said all of this to say, I don't cope with death. I don't. I like to ignore anything that deals with it and I know part of it is natural. The other part is, I think of the families and the enormous amount of grief they must be feeling and there is nothing I, or anyone else can do to make things better. As a makeup artist, you are constantly taking something and improving it. The feeling of making someone smile is like a drug it's so contagious. But, when someone dies, you can't "fix" it with a product, technique or trick. You just have to let them feel. I also don't like to see anyone cry. It really gets to me, and I've seen loads of people cry sad cries but it never gets easier.
Death forces you to think about how you're living as well. What will I be remembered for? Will anyone miss me? What impact will I have left, if any, on the world I leave behind. What is my legacy? Ed McMahon, television host, and the phrase, "Heeeere's Johnny!" Farrah had a role as the original Charlie's Angel, and a megawatt smile. Farrah was what Pamela Anderson was emulating in Baywatch. Michael's music has touched the world as well as his dance moves and subsequent unfortunate headlines.
What's your legacy?