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Jordan Heron - The Vanity Card Series

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So, Amy Winehouse is dead.

I've never owned her music, physically or virtually. I'm sure I've heard some of it before, by accident. But I was no fan - not because she doesn't deserve fans, but because I never listened to her music critically enough to form my own opinion. She was one of dozens of stars, of media-pushed people, I hear about on TV, in newspapers, on-line, but who's existance affected me very little. Especially as what one heard most often was negative - was the trainwreck of Amy's life and times.

So, why, when I'm half way up the stairs to do something, did a half heard news story in my living room, arrest me so fully? Why did it stop me in my tracks, bring me back downstairs, to sit and listen and watch?

It's not like it was a suprise. I suppose we'll jump to conclusions, rather than wait for the coroner's report. But whether her death was directly related to drug use or not, Amy's was hardly the lifestyle that leads to healthy retirement at a venerable age. So surprise was not the emotion that ran through me.

It was sadness. Very deep sadness. And I'm not sure why.

Amy's death barely causes a ripple in my life. I mean, if she hadn't been so over-the-top famous, I wouldn't even have known about her ending. But, not being a fan, I still know who she is. Some stars become unavoidable, if you watch TV or read newspapers or go online for any length of time at all...

But it wasn't the death of a star that saddened me.

This is going to sound really cliche, perhaps a sign of having hit the over 50 mark myself, but I was sad because a very young person died, and would never get the chance to reach her potential. At the age of 27, no one can say the best years were behind her. In my personal experience, life just keeps improving.

And one must not forget that she was not only a star, but a person with friends and family. Amy's death saddens me, but it is not a personal tragedy. For some people out there, it is.

For those people, you have my condolences.

Knowing Amy only through the media, I have to judge her from what I've heard and seen. Which is likely very unfair, because - no matter how bad certain aspects of her life may have been - I am sure the media did not give us a full picture of the real person. Maybe she was sane, and mature, and very very happy in her life. But, as I said, I can only by what I've been told - and sane, mature and happy is not it.

I wish Amy had lived.
I wish she had lived to find a better place - in her career and in her social life and in society.
I wish she had had the chance to grow old and, looking back, be surprised that she lived through it.

It saddens me that she didn't.

27 July 2011

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