Ed McMahon was sick, Farrah was sick. These reports were sad to hear. Michael Jackson was a shocker, but on some level not entirely out of left field. That guy seemed to have faded from my radar for a long time. I felt very sorry for him and whatever his life had been, clearly there were major issues. And listening to all that amazing music made me sad that he couldn't ever recover from being so up and then so DOWN.
But I wasn't really so touched or sad or disturbed. I think that there is so much immediate grieving still going on in my own life and family that a stranger's sudden death, albeit a famous stranger, doesn't have the impact it might have had before April 2008. But even then, Kurt and I were watching stories and remembrances for all three over the weekend and Kurt said he couldn't think of a celebrity who had died that made him really sad. Which made me think of the only time I got weepy when I heard of a celebrity who died.
I was working at my first real post-college job in 1990, feeling sort of finally kind of grown up, living on my own, making money, being very responsible at age 23, when I heard the news. It broke my heart because it was a significant part of my childhood -- Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. His work on these shows have given me sweet wonderful memories of perfect childhood days and nights. And now I was a grown up and his death was a hard reminder of how I could never really go back. (His death was too soon as well, he was only 53.)
If you are of my age/generation, tell me you don't get a little misty watching Bid Bird sing "It's Not Easy Being Green" at Jim Henson's memorial. And if you don't then tell me what celebrity death has made you stop in your tracks and put your hand to your heart.