A Tragic Turn of Events

richardsonBy now, you’ve probably heard about actress Natasha Richardson’s skiing accident. According to sources close to Richardson, she’s been declared brain dead and will likely die. The heartbreaking lesson in all this is the importance of wearing helmets during activities such as skiing. Had she been wearing a helmet, she might be fine.

This tragic story also brings up another conversation: Untimely celebrity deaths.

natasha_richardson_320x240Should Richardson, 45, succumb to her injuries, she’ll become the latest in a long line of celebrities taken long before their time. This brought up a discussion today with myself and some girlfriends about the celebrity deaths that affected us the most, or the ones we remember the most. For me, there are two that stick out in my mind:

heath_ledger_01When Heath Ledger passed away unexpectedly last year, suffice it to say I, along with most people, was shocked. So much so that it almost felt as though he were someone I knew personally. And honestly, I’m still not quite over his death. I think it stems from the fact that he was just a bit younger than me, which of course has me contemplating my own mortality. Couple that with the sad realization that he’s also a father, and that his daughter will never really get to know him, and his loss took on an even deeper meaning for me. Not to mention the loss of an obviously talented performer, which it seems we have so few of these days. Sad business, all around.

The other death is one you may have already forgotten, but it still sticks out in my mind:

aaliyah5301When R&B singer Aaliyah passed away in 2001 at only 22, I was stunned. I remember the day I found out and how I immediately had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Aaliyah was also just a few months younger than me, and at 22, I could not fathom losing your life after living such a short time. I still can’t. I remember getting on a plane to the Bahamas a few years later, and all I could think about was Aaliyah, and what those final moments must’ve been like for her. I also still think of her today, and think of all the things she never lived to see: 9/11, the election of the first black president, her own wedding.

I guess celebrity deaths are a reminder for all of us that we’re not immortal, and that we can be in the middle of doing something fun, or just feeling a bit under the weather, and then, poof! It’s over. You just never know.

What celebrity deaths really affected you?


16 responses to “A Tragic Turn of Events

  1. I don’t even want to think about it unless she actually does die of these injuries. Because I like to remain positive as long as I can, I guess. Natasha is glorious in about a billion different ways, so I’m going to sit here and think happy thoughts for as long as I can.

  2. AGreenEyeDevil

    Natasha and Liam met, and fell in love, while filming Nell very near my community. They were genuinely gracious and professional people in interacting w/the local community during the filming. I’m sad to know their time together has come to an end.

  3. I’m with The Mayoress on this one- happy thoughts, positive thoughts, etc.

    Celeb deaths that really shook me:
    Heath Ledger
    Kurt Cobain

  4. @TheMayorofBethville: Agreed. I really hope she comes out of this.

  5. The paparazzi who are harassing her family as they go in and out of the hospital should be shot. I can’t believe people can be so heartless.

  6. angiesyounglover

    @greeneyeddevil: she hasn’t died yet, their time is not over yet. anything can happen.

    anyway, people dying scares me. it’s like this thing that roams around and you never know who it will take. there’s no calculation, rhyme or reason.

  7. AGreenEyeDevil

    AYL, I mean no disrespect, coming from a medical background simply leaves me w/a very stark interpretation of her circumstances. She is at one of the best neuro facilities in North America, we can rest assured that all will be done for her that is possible within current AND emerging treatment standards.

  8. @Lizzie: Amen to that! Those guys are disgusting.

  9. What is especially scary is that she was on the learner/bunny hill when it happened….it really shows the importance of wearing a helmet when skiing/snowboarding even if you aren’t going to be raging down black diamonds.

  10. But could a helmet have stopped it? I don’t know how common these kinds of injuries are -but it seems like if your brain tears, it’s over unless you get to a hospital quick.

    Liam Neeson’s publicist just released a statement confirming the death. Now I really want to cry.

  11. @greeneyed: i’m sorry to have snapped at you. death scares me 😦

  12. angiesyounglover

    ^whoops, my girl was still logged in. anyway, sorry again greeneyed.

  13. AGreenEyeDevil

    BAngB/AYL, it’s ok, no offense taken. Death is a complicated and daunting thing.

  14. the loss of Natasha Richardson makes think i might wear a helmet next time I go skiing

    • @Joe: You definitely should. If anything, let’s all make her death matter in that it brings awareness and saves future lives. I mean, who knew something like that could happen so innocently?

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