"To die, to sleep. To sleep, perchance to dream." - William Shakespeare, Hamlet
I have lived long enough to see the passing of some legendary names: Johnny Carson, Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers, Robin Williams, Bernie Mac... and, sadly the list goes on and on. Of course, the name on everyone lips (and most recent celeb lost) is Prince. Now we learn that Prince Rogers Nelson "died from an accidental Fentanyl overdose." (per Variety). And if you're like me that asked, "What's that?' Variety goes on to add, "Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate prescribed to treat severe pain, especially after surgery or a medical procedure. It’s said to be more potent than morphine." Accidental overdose. Tragic and preventable. And that makes his loss hurt that much more.
"Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” - Isaac Asimov
In an extremely sad way, it's poetic that this one-named artist can now be spoken in the same breath as others also lost from overdoes. Prince joins Morrison, Elvis, Farley, Belushi, Whitney and Ledger. Of course, there are more names I could have added... which makes it even more heartbreaking. Much has been written about the cost of fame and the pressures that accompany being on top of the world. But I find it increasingly mind-boggling that, with the universe at your feet (and given the numerous examples mentioned), artists become so consumed by their world, they cannot (or do not) seek the help they need.
"The bravest thing I ever did was continuing my life when I wanted to die.” - Juliette Lewis
I rant and rave under the guise of being snarky. But something else I do is speak from the heart. I have hit rock bottom, not with substance abuse, but in life. I have no hesitation to admit that I got myself help. I sought out a therapist and began counseling. And, you know what, I changed (and in many ways saved) my life. Be you a celebrity or just an everyday Joe or Jane, if you have issues, please, swallow your pride, admit you need help, and, please, get some. We don't need to add anymore names to an already large book of those we've lost. -MO