I’m a huge Star Trek fan. I won’t get into the whole “Trekkie” vs. “Trekker” discussion (but I’ll say that I’m definitely in the latter category). So the death of Leonard Nimoy filled me with great sadness. But this entry really isn’t about Leonard Nimoy, per se.
I understand why some people don’t get why others want to talk about the deaths of celebrities in social media— after all, death touches everyone, right? I’ve seen a lot of comments along the lines of, “why should I care any more about the death of Leonard Nimoy than the death of someone close to me?”
I don’t think anyone out there will tell you that you *should* care more. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I honestly believe that people talking about celebrity deaths is not only a way for people to express their love and respect for the person who passed, but it also helps us remember what’s important. Life. Life is important.
In my opinion, when someone in the spotlight dies, talking about it brings us together to a point where we can think about Life in a different way. When someone close to us dies, we definitely grieve and the feeling is SO much more intense than when a celebrity dies, but we pretty much grieve alone. Yes, we perhaps talk about the feelings we’re experiencing with a select few, but many of us don’t choose to share those feelings with everyone. By contrast, when a celebrity dies, many of us start sharing thoughts about life and death in a way that we might not have shared before.
In Leonard Nimoy’s case, I’ve seen so many wonderful posts about things he said via social media in his final months. He knew that his time was limited as a result of years of smoking (even though he quit decades ago), so he penned (i.e., tweeted) a lot of meaningful words as the time grew closer. All one has to do is look at his Twitter account to see that he cherished every minute of his time here.
The fact that he wrote those words and that now so many people are sharing them, is a gift, in my opinion. Because they remind us that Life isn’t forever. I realize everyone knows this, but so many of us push it back in our minds from day-to-day. How many times do we choose not to do something today because we “can always do it tomorrow?”
No one is immune from death. It could happen 50 years from now, it could happen hours from now. Some of us might have some notice like Leonard Nimoy and therefore have the time to share our final thoughts and feelings of incredible love with those around us… but others will not have any notice at all. So I have to say that what I’m getting from people sharing their thoughts about him (other than the fact that he really was a wonderful man), is the reminder that Life is a gift that could be taken away at any point.
And with that, I’m going to force my child to stop playing video games downstairs and head outside to enjoy the beautiful day.