The past several days have hit the entertainment community hard with this recent raft of celebrity cancer deaths. First Lemmy, then Bowie, and now Alan Rickman. With these creative engines snuffed out, I thought of their legacies and the work they have left behind.
I, unfortunately, only knew much about Lemmy and Motörhead in the past several months, but from the interviews and documentary footage I saw of the man, he was undoubtedly a character and a beloved one at that, based on the outpouring of positive messages about him after his death.
Admittedly, I never knew much of David Bowie either. Even to the uninitiated though, such as myself, his face, voice, and presence are unmistakable. I knew he was a huge star, pun intended, but seeing the sheer volume and depth of mourning when he passed was astounding. I can't imagine having affected so many people in such a profound way.
Alan Rickman I was very familiar with. From Harry Potter, to Die Hard, to Love Actually - and so many others that I'm not acquainted with yet - the man had a wonderful way of playing a wide range of character types while still maintaining his own essence.
In thinking of their legacies, I got to thinking about horcruxes. Rather than something dark and evil though, creators of the caliber of those listed above leave behind beautiful artifacts that give us a glimpse into their mind and soul. Great artwork IS like chipping off a bit of your soul for others to ingest, but it's amazing, in the true sense of the word. Athletes talk about "leaving it all out on the field" and it's no different for artists, except that there is often something literally left to look back into their psyche. A snapshot of their creativity and ability culminated. Years from now, we will be able to go back and witness the material that Bowie and Lemmy broke musical barriers with. We can listen to what their minds created decades ago. We can watch Alan Rickman transform from the complicatedly cantankerous potions master, to the German foil of John McClane, to any number of his other numerous roles.
I've been somber thinking of these three artists passing away, but not as sad as if all memory of them were gone. Their voices and faces and legacy persist through their art. I can only hope to fill my time on earth as well as they filled their 69 and 70 years respectively.