The Blog

Remembering David Bowie And The Humanity We Share

On the anniversary of David Bowie's death I am reminded, that you and I are part of a shared humanity. There is so much we can give to each other, from near or afar to help strengthen our humanity.

On the anniversary of David Bowie's death I am reminded, that you and I are part of a shared humanity. There is so much we can give to each other, from near or afar to help strengthen our humanity.

We share our need to belong and our longing for meaning. Our lives consist of ebb and flow, coming and going, life and death.

We may struggle to make our mark, to make ends meet, to be creative and fulfilled. We have dreams, hopes, disappointments, drama and trauma.

We have a shared humanity.

We look to others

Often we look from afar to others for support and guidance through their creative expression, wisdom and aura. They teach us about living and coping with pain.

David Bowie provided a creative home of meaning for many on different levels and stages in their lives. Those of us struggling with teenage angst, social norms, limitations or sexual identity.

Strangers can touch our lives and like a home give us a sense of belonging, meaning, direction and hope.

People will have a shared connection with you. And you too touch and enrich others' lives in ways you may never know.

We have a shared humanity.

We share grief

Many people shared the shock and grief when David Bowie died, his memory since and now the anniversary of his death.

For me, his ability to re-invent himself made him constant, like a river, moving, unstoppably, without an end. Yet, he, too, had an end. And when that happens, it can feel like a part of us has died. The moment I heard of David Bowie's death I felt old and my teenage years an even longer distant past.

Whatever your age, you may have already experienced the same, or this is something yet to come.

What we may share on the anniversary of David Bowie's death is the experience of loss and grief for him and many others, gone before him or since.

You may experience the first anniversary of the death of someone close to you. You, like the rest of us, may know how bereavement feels, with its ebb and flow and its unpredictabilities.

We have a shared humanity.

We share health concerns

You may be concerned for your health or that of others.

Whether you are affected by illness, or not, you may have been struck by David Bowie's creative productivity right to the end. His last album "Black Star", released two days before his death, integrated his personal experience of illness and mortality into his art and vice versa.

Not everyone will have the energy, opportunity or inclination to be creative when faced with illness. There is no right or wrong in any of this.

A chronic, life-shortening or terminal diagnosis can shatter our spirit (whether you are the person with the illness, a relative or friend). Nothing is or will ever be again what it was. Everything is called into question. We may struggle with meaning and purpose. Because very little is left predictable and certain - apart from death.

But the human spirit can be strong. I for one draw hope from those who manage not to be deterred. Those who carry on with whatever they need to do, to keep identity and meaning.

Having been treated for cancer myself, I share in the same struggle of others across our world, to stay motivated, focused and not allow fear to compromise who I am.

For me, self motivation can be a daily struggle, a daily task and a daily affirmation of commitment to myself and the life I still have.

Illness can make us invisible, if we let it. We have a shared humanity.

We share mortality

As the heroes of yester-years pass, so the inescapable truth of our own death manifests itself firmly in our conscious.

We are vulnerable mortals.

There are people, you and I will have only memories of. And at some time, others will only have memories of us.

You may be considering your own mortality. Or you may not yet have thought about it. You may be frightened of death. Or you may be at peace with its inevitability and at peace with yourself.

I believe that fear of death renders us vulnerable to an inner emptiness.

Fear of death can eat away at our soul. It could be a soul-less death.

We have a shared humanity. We share death.

We have a chance

Talking about death is becoming more and more common, and I think we should draw strength from that.

We have a shared opportunity, you and I, to help each other in the process of making peace with our death - now. Not just at the end of our lives, but right now, in the midst of our lives.

I know this can be hard and frightening. But in my experience, those who manage to talk about, prepare for and share the pain of a life coming to an end, will also share so more fully the joy for the life that has been. And what a legacy is that!

We have power

You and I, like David Bowie before us, have the power to make a difference to our own lives and that of others, whatever our circumstances.

Hold on to your power and your wisdom. Share both in your own, very personal way with us all, with humanity.

Karin Sieger is a psychotherapist and writer. For free updates of her blog Between Self And Doubt please sign up here.