Image: A pile of stones; sunset. Photo by realworkhard/Pixabay.

We’ve lost so many remarkable people in 2016. The New York Times has published a list of “notable deaths” that is fairly staggering.

The latest death, that of Carrie Fisher, has been particularly wrenching for many of us because of her relative youth: it’s one thing to hear about the deaths of people in their nineties, but Fisher was only 60. Her Princess Leia spoke to a generation of young women, arguing that yes, a woman can be a head of state; yes, she can fight the bad guys. Ms. Fisher herself taught us that mental illness is merely a disease, not a scandal.

We lost people who wrote music that was important to many of us: Prince, David Bowie, George Michael, Guy Clark, and Leonard Cohen. Their music is immortal.

We lost giants, too: Elie Wiesel, Shimon Peres, and Muhammed Ali. On some level, they will be with us forever, but they are gone from this life.

It’s a lot, and these are only a few of the names. On one level, these are people we did not personally know: we don’t mourn them in the same way we mourn for someone close to us. On another level, though, their work or their art put them near the our hearts. We feel the loss. The fact that their work is finished is hard to accept.

May their dear ones be comforted in the arms of friends and family. And may the rest of us carry their memories forward.

 

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