I Can’t Seem to Get Over the Loss of David Bowie

This post was supposed to be a fun post about Sasha the Husky-lab experiencing snow for the first time ever on Sunday. But then something else happened Sunday evening that I can’t ignore and it has hijacked Mind Your Dirt and preoccupied my mind. I’ll get back to my dog’s joy after this.

I didn’t even know that David Bowie had cancer. After having him in my musical world for my entire life, I simply took him for granted. Even now, I find it hard to imagine that he was not immortal. Maybe it’s because of his seemingly infinite career as an artist. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because of his Goblin King blood.

I can't seem to get over the loss of david bowie 02_The Goblin King

All I know is that cancer has once again stolen away into the night someone I care about. And this one is having a more profound affect on me than I ever would’ve imagined. Maybe it’s triggering memories of my father’s lost battle to cancer almost six years ago to the day (1-30-2010). Maybe I’m just at that age where the people I care about or am inspired by begin to fade from this mortal coil.

Regardless, I am affected by his loss and am having trouble shaking this feeling of emptiness and sadness. Which is strange when considering I’ve never met the man. But grief is grief nonetheless. And I know that I’m not alone today, and that helps give me some solace. Can we all do an Interwebs hug please?

I will share with you a video from Bowie’s last album in which he was well aware that it would be his last. Be warned, when put into context, this is a chilling sight to behold.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-JqH1M4Ya8?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=1280&h=720]

Not since Johnny Cash’s cover of NIN’s Hurt (after June Carter died) have I been so affected by a seemingly haunted message from beyond the grave. I learned six years ago that there can be tremendous beauty in death. When it wraps its cold fingers around us in its morbid embrace, we can learn of our ever-increasing ability to love. Sunday night my capacity to love has reluctantly grown even more.

I’d like to share some things that may help you as it has helped me to put a smile on my face. I can’t possibly share all of what I love about this man, there’s just way too much.

This first video is of David Bowie and Bing Crosby singing The Little Drummer Boy in 1977. I was three at the time. Bing would not survive to see this air, so I thought it appropriate in the theme of outros.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9kfdEyV3RQ?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=960&h=720]

And this is possibly the most hauntingly fantastic part of the movie Labyrinth. As a small boy, I was moved by this scene and this song. To have a villain not seem tremendously like a villain helped me to redefine the childish construct of pure good and evil.  Plus, the M.C. Escher sets throughout tickle me.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ9BHGX58vQ?rel=0&controls=0&showinfo=0&w=960&h=720]

And lastly, I’ll leave you with this sweet scene from The Flight of the Concords which is from my ABSOLUTE favorite episode (all about David Bowie). Germaine as Bowie is spot on and hilarious! So I’ll end this slideshow on a funny note in hopes that I can somehow get on with my day and the rest of my, now sadder, life.

All I can say at this point is I’m so thankful that we still have Brian Eno in this world! Aw, that just made me sad for Brian Eno. He’s probably having a rough go of it as well right now. They were such amazing collaborators over the years. Which also makes me think of David Bowie using Cut Ups, the bastard child of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin. Two more heroes of mine.

Damn, Now I’m singing Heroes in my head! I’ll never be able to get over this will I?

We can be heroes. Just for one day.

28 Replies to “I Can’t Seem to Get Over the Loss of David Bowie”

    1. Thank you dear lady. It’s more than his music, he was a fixture and foundation to me. As an artist and an all around profoundly odd person. My ever shrinking world is too small for my liking.

  1. Bowie was a big part of the music world during my high school years (though with a career span like his, that could be true for many.) What I’ll miss about him is the sense that anything is possible, and that you can be anybody. I haven’t followed him in my more senior years, but the loss of a visionary, and a gentleman, weighs on us all.

    1. This is so true.

      I think one of the reasons I saw him as immortal was because of how many times in my life I’ve just casually dropped into his career. He would always be there for me when I needed him with something fresh and amazing. Again, I feel like I’ve taken him for granted.

      I’ve been watching more Flight of the Concords as a way to cope. Working my way up to Labyrinth…

      Not today.

  2. Ok my turn to thank you for posting! David Bowie… I’m not even sure what to say really. Like you I’m not really affected very often by the death of someone I didn’t ‘know’, but David Bowie definitely has me depressed in a way that I wouldn’t have anticipated. The last video he made ‘Lazarus’ had me in just bawling at the computer screen.

    I never really thought about it until you wrote it, but his portrayal of the Goblin King was really my first time experiencing a villain who you don’t really perceive as a villain. I’ve always had kind of a love for the bad guys in characters, and generally always empathize more with them than the good guys- I wonder if that started back from the Goblin King. Like I watched that film so much- I wonder how much of my personality was actually affected by David Bowie… weird… ALSO OMG YES ‘WITHIN YOU’! My favorite Bowie song to this day…

    AND YES FLIGHT OF THE CONCORDS REFERENCE!!! God that show was freaking awesome, and I LOVED the fact that Bowie made a showing in it.

    I’ve never head of this cut ups thing or Brion Gysin, but I am looking into it as soon as I finish this comment! I freaking adore William S. Burroughs too.

    Big Interwebs Hug to you!!

    1. The last few days I find myself singing Within You as I go about my day. I can then judge other people that overhear it to see if they think me crazy or make a sad face. The sad faced ones get it.

      Poor Goblin King. He just wanted a little sumthin sumthin from a vastly younger ladypants. No big.

      Germaine wrote a cool article about Bowie that I know you’ll adore…


      You love Burroughs as well? Tickled! In high school I’d force my family into listening to his spoken reading of the Thanksgiving Prayer. They HATED it! I also like to recite the Dr. Benway speech about the man who taught is asshole to talk. One of my favorite parts of Naked Lunch. Cronenberg (sp?) did an amazing job at adapting that almost indecipherable tome.

    1. I did actually hear about that! NPR did a report about a geological event that happens on Mars where the gas from dry ice explodes through the surface in spring leaving tell-tale scarring. Guess what it’s called? Yep, spiders. On Mars.

  3. Wow, so I just dried the tears after watching that Canadian astronaut’s video (he did a version of “Space Oddity”–Mark Ruffalo retweeted it–yes, I’m following Ruffalo on Twitter but I digress) Had not wanted to see the Lazarus video but since you offered it–wow. Brave is too weak a word but, yeah, brave artist. Amazing soul. Haven’t felt this kind of loss from a singer’s passing since Freddie Mercury died. Really wasn’t prepared for this one either. Thank you so much your blog post survey of the world’s favorite spaceman.

    1. Yeah, that video was so touching and wholly appropriate.

      My pleasure on the post, I had to say or do something to work out how I’m feeling. I shared it on a FB Bowie group and the comments I’ve received are so sweet and kind. Hundreds of people from all over the world and we’re all just “hugging” each other. It’s beautiful.

  4. I think for me it is hard to see the pop culture icons of my youth aging. It somehow reminds me of my own mortality and age. My mind is still 20 years old but the rest of me isn’t. I spent the weekend with a 12 year old and found out how inept I am at Snapchatting, Instagramming, and otherwise being young and hip and cool. Anyway, for me it is of course the loss of a major talent, cultural and fashion icon, and all around nice and funny person. But, it represents something more.

  5. I’m quite stunned to see him making videos while he is dying. Means his spirit is still active as the body goes. I remember his quote “I always wanted to be something more than human”

  6. I have to admit that I’ve never got to appreciate the man’s music, even though the tragic news left me shaken…I reckon I was not “out there” enough or maybe I’m not as old as I think I am…

    I hope you feel better soon, luckily music lasts eternally.

    1. I got into Bowie at a pretty young age. My father was an astronomer and director of a college planetarium. In the seventies as a child, I was introduced to some crazy music from astronomy students that worked for my father. I’m sure you can just picture all the laser Floyd shenanigans I got up too in my formative years.

      Regardless, I think my reaction to his passing is triggering thoughts of my dearly departed father. The anniversary of which is coming up in a couple weeks. I’ll shake it off soon, just kinda indulging in melancholy this week.

      1. What a great memory of your Dad!! Enjoy the melancholy. It’s warranted.

        I also now know why I missed David Bowie. I was a child of the eighties…late eighties more specifically.

  7. I did know he had cancer. I’m psychic and the knowledge came to me several months ago, like a download. When I couldn’t find anything online about his illness and that he was dying, I thought I was wrong, but I knew he’d die of cancer.
    Anyway, I’m just as devastated as you are. I love him with all my heart – there are many types of love….and this is a great loss.

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