Friday, March 21, 2014

Something Unusual: A Grieving Mick

Mick Jagger, the brash, wriggling frontman of The Rolling Stones, dispels all expectations of a 70-year-old man when he performs.  It may be a shock to even Mick that he and his fellow senior citizens are still not only performing with incredible flash, but selling out arenas at their age.  After all, remember when he was much, much younger and said something like, “I hope I’m not 40 and still singing ‘Satisfaction.”

Well, he is still singing ‘Satisfaction’ and doing it well with all the style and flash we have come to expect but now there’s something new; a Mick in mourning. It is something that may seem totally out of the realm of reason because the Stones and Mick, in particular, have always seemed to exist in another sphere. But they don’t and when tragedy comes, it does as it would to anyone who has lost a loved one. There is no rock and roll reprieve from this emotional toll and it may even be more difficult for a huge rock star.

Celebrity robs the freedom to move about and have a private life from all those who possess it. There is no silent reflection and no minute bit of relief from the relentless photogs and media who scream headlines that strive to be yet more outlandish than the previous one. Their targets, of course, like Mick Jagger, are not left in peace to grieve. There is no concern for propriety because propriety has been tossed into the dust bin like so much useless garbage. The rules don’t hold. The concern for any soul, sensitive or otherwise, is not given a whit of consideration. It is all laid at the altar of money and given up for it.

But Mick Jagger is only one of many who find themselves in a world they are trying to figure out anew. He is only the most recent and the most famous. Still, it is as if the Angel of Death honors no mark on the doorway and enters at will to deliver its painful potion to all.

Today, those who loved Curt Cobain have been stung anew by the fact that, in preparation for the twentieth year after his death (I can’t call it an anniversary because it’s in poor taste), more rolls of film have been discovered. Remember when cameras used film? Not that long ago but it seems so much longer. Ten rolls of undeveloped film taken at the scene of his death have been found in the evidence locker. What will they show? Does it really matter?

There will be clamoring for the photos and then more speculation that open a wound that may not have healed sufficiently. No, twenty years isn’t that long in the death of someone you love.  There is still the spontaneous wish to place a call, to send an email or to plan a visit, but you can’t because they’re not there any longer.

For some, substances will be used to try to dull the mental pain. Yes, substances include both those of the prescription and non-prescription type and I can understand. Reports indicate that neither Mick nor his lost love use either drugs or alcohol and that he may have some medical presence there. It’s understandable. He’s not invulnerable and we wish him well in this very difficult time. The news must have been crushing and continues to be so as he tries to understand.

He will, most probably, be asking himself if he did something or failed to do something that could have prevented this. Could he have foreseen something in a look, an action, anything? There will be no answer, but he will continue to seek it.

I hope he does find some peace and can concentrate on the happiness he had with this woman and how fortunate they both were to have found each other.


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Fired Up: A shrink’s musings