I was reading up on a fellow friend’s blog post about the death of Paul Walker recently and how it coming to grips with the trauma with death brings much grief and sorrow. Today, the 8th of December is the birthday of my idol, well one of them, Corey Taylor, singer of Slipknot and Stone Sour, and much beloved author of mine. I was listening to Slipknot’s “’Till We Die” when I realised something. Something that I couldn’t quite pinpoint so I had to write it down to make sense of it.
I woke up with this heavy feeling in me today, like I had this massive stone in my chest and my friend’s blog post popped up in my Facebook feed. I clicked on it and I read it and that’s when it occurred to me that death is such an awful thing to experience vicariously. I was never a fan of Paul Walker nor did I pay much attention to much of his movies, but when that day when he had died, I too thought it was some sort of Facebook stunt.. Google concluded my worst fears that a beloved actor and idol of my friends’ had died in a charity car race, gone horribly wrong. I could only imagine what my friends, who were deep asleep on the other side of the world were going to wake up to. But I instantly thought of, that people are going to complain that people die everyday from starvation, unspeakable acts of violence that happens in places like Somalia on a daily basis, shark attacks (there had been a shark attack upon a teenager the day before in South Australia) and the list goes on. This quite annoys me to be honest.
Let me explain this fact of death and psychology behind it, any death no matter how horrible the person or how horrible the crimes committed is tragic. For an example, in a heated Facebook argument, an unnamed counterpart of mine used the death of Saddam Hussein as not tragic but justified. But at the end of the day, there are people that loved these people, we might not see it, their family and their friends who loved them. Hell, much to my personal transgressions, Justin Beiber’s death is going to be tragic (won’t stop me from making jokes about it though – that’s human nature). So just because we don’t acknowledge the two or three thousand people that died in the Philippines in Cyclone Yolanda, doesn’t mean we don’t care. The most tragic and mentally straining type of death is that of a spontaneous one. I was so sad that my grandmother died, she was a good person, but her health was deteriorating and we knew, that any day would be her last one.
The latest pair of footprints to be summoned to the gates of Heaven in the recent days, has been that of one of the greatest humanitarians, Nelson Mandela. Now don’t mistake me for a whiz about this guy, nor will I fake my knowledge and copy everything from the search results from Google, but from what I know and what my spiritually invested mother has told me of him, he was a great man for his time. But it was a common fact that Mr Mandela’s health was deteriorating, and not even the wisest of men will live for eternity. It is sad to see that Nelson Mandela has passed, for the fact that the world has lost a great freedom fighter and someone who fought for racial equality. I was reading something on Facebook, from Shaun from the band Seether and his experience with the social implications Mandela’s release from prison had on him at the age of 11, (I was 1 at the time so I couldn’t tell you for shit what I remember of him at that time) and it was interesting to read that the black segregation in his neighbour had dramatically reduced when Mandela was set free.
It is true that the events of the past week have been disheartening and sad, to not only lose two great people to death, both by health and spontaneously caused death. It is also sad to see that the dickheads on social media come out to play whenever someone dies. I really lost my shit at some stupid people who were cracking Paul Walker death jokes just hours after his death was confirmed.
But it also made me think of my friends, and how they deal with death. I know a few friends who were in tears because they lost Paul Walker so tragically and so spontaneously but also I know a few friends who were more saddened and torn apart by Nelson Mandela’s death. It made me think, as today is Corey Taylor, one of my most beloved idols and inspirations (if you haven’t noticed the banner to this blog that’s him in a film clip) birthday, I can only imagine the pain my friends must be going through. Death doesn’t heal quickly, those taken will never come back. If Corey was taken from this world, how would I be? I would be exactly like them. I would be in tears and I would be in disbelief. Another reason why my heart goes out to those friends of mine who lost Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker as their idols.
Let me tell you a related story, of how I had a best friend, at the time, who woke to the news that Michael Jackson had died, her idol since she was a toddler and she was 24 at the time. I remember a few years ago, I woke up and got straight on the internet boards I was a member of and they had “RIP Michael Jackson” as their most active thread. I thought it was a joke so I turned on the television and it confirmed my worst thoughts, Casey’s idol had died. She grieved, she grieved and cried a lot for the past weeks following his death. It was traumatic as me as a friend to watch her go through that stage, but no one ever tells you that if you cry you are actually a really strong person. Hell I balled my eyes out for a while when Michael Jackson died.
So I propose a toast. If you read this post and somehow I’ve made you think outside the box you live, raise your glass.
Raise it to Nelson Mandela, and think of a world we might live in we hadn’t been privileged to have his ideals about education, racism, and freedom. Raise that glass high, because he’s in a better place. Free from pain and free from political and racial struggle. If you believe in heaven, he’s there. If you believe he’s kicking it up at Hooters, he’s there.
Raise it to Paul Walker, who has been lighting up Hollywood screens with fast cars and his antidotes for years. Raise the glass high, and think of how strong his wife and daughter are in this time of extreme sorrow and grief. If you believe in heaven, he’s there. If you believe he’s kicking it up at Hooter’s, he’s there.
Raise it to Corey Taylor and wish him a happy 40th birthday. Two great intelligent people were taken from us, raise your glass to those still alive because one day, there’s not going to be there.
One day you’re going to lose your idol and feel the pain what my friends have had to go through this past week. One day Corey Taylor is going to leave and leave me in the same shoes as my friends. As much we don’t want them to go, death is a natural thing, it occurs everywhere in the animal kingdom and the world. I don’t mean to come across as insensitive in this last paragraph, by the way. Death is a horrible thing to deal with but you have to deal with it, or you’re never going to move on. It’s okay to mourn those celebrity idols that were taken too early,
RIP Paul Walker – you will be missed.
RIP Nelson Mandela – you will be missed.
Happy Birthday Corey – don’t drink too much.