Excuse me for engaging in a bit of morbidity, but it sure seems like a lot of famous people are dying lately.
The Grim Reaper seems to be racking up the overtime hours in 2016 with his harvest of the great and near-great: Alan Rickman, Merle Haggard, David Bowie, Nancy Reagan, Patty Duke, George Kennedy, Gary Shandling, Glenn Frye, Prince, and many others have passed away so far ... and we're only four months into the year. The Death List for 2016 - the annual list of the 50 celebrities considered most likely to die in the course of the year - is already well underway.
So what's going on? Is this an unusually deadly year or what?
According to this article from BBC News, there are several reasons for the surge in famous deaths, not the least of which is the fact that many people who became famous in the 60's and earlier are now in their 70's and - statistically - are more likely to shuffle off their mortal coils. Also (and this is my conjecture, not part of the referenced article), many celebrities are more likely to have abused their bodies with alcohol, drugs, and related high living, leading to an earlier-than-perhaps-expected demise.
Obituary writing is a growth industry, and obituaries are usually easy to write for celebrities. But what about you and I, Dear Readers? We're not famous (unless I've got celebrity readers out there I don't know about) and most of us don't leave much of a record behind, so how will we be remembered? I wrote about this back in November of 2009, and it's still a valid question. I plan to write a lot more letters and keep up the blogging now that I'm retired, so I'll leave a pretty well documented history. What about you?
And while you're thinking about that, consider this: with all the celebrities dropping like flies this year, how is it that Keith Richards is still alive?
Have a good day. Take care of yourself ... the obituary writers have enough work to do. More thoughts tomorrow.
* With apologies to the Trapp Family children from The Sound of Music.