TV Sidekick Extraordinaire
Blond Bombshell Turned Serious Actress
Top-Selling Singer and Pop Icon
I understand that celebrities and public figures are people, too. They are someone's child, sibling, friend, lover and sometimes parent. Many times, they also represent a crucial period of our lives, so not only do we mourn their passing, we mourn the passing of a key part of ourselves or cherished memories we wish we could revive. I totally get that.
I only hope that we don't get so busy mourning famous people that we forget about others who have made a difference but didn't get as much fanfare. People like Neda Soltani, who became well-known only after being shot and killed in the streets of Tehran while marching for democracy. People like Joseph Cannon Houghteling, a political and environmental activist who devoted his life to public service. People like Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, the doctor who diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer before a dramatic rescue at the South Pole in 1999, and who went on to spend her last decade of life speaking out about her cancer and working as a roving ER doctor at hospitals all over the Northeast.
They died recently, too. They may not have sang the songs from my formative years and they may not bring back memories of a more innocent time for me, but they left their marks on this world and I mourn them.