Mortal - adjective - subject to death.
Ed McMahon - June 23, 2009 - age 86.
Farrah Fawcett - June 25, 2009 - age 62.
Michael Jackson - June 25, 2009 - age 50.
Some reporter was asked how she would describe the reaction of people in the crowd that had gathered in Time Square in New York City. She said people seemed more excited than sad but not excited that Jackson had died rather about his music and art.
I thought about how I felt then.
I felt relief more than anything else. All three seemed like sad stories to me that were just becoming ever sadder.
I didn't want to read in some future article about McMahon losing his home or see him trying to earn his way out of whatever new financial problem he'd encountered. And McMahon had always seemed happy to me and I really did not like seeing him in difficult circumstances at 86.
Fawcett seemed to be suffering to me. There was very little doubt the outcome of her struggle. Had she lived there would have been more suffering. Somehow her life even before cancer seemed sad to me. Certainly she was beautiful and talented and I suppose all the other good things people said but what I knew about her seemed so full of conflict and sorrow.
I thought Jackson's life was even sadder. Even I could recognize his great talent. But there was a loneliness and a painful sorrow that I thought was always there. In recent years he just seemed to me to be someone who no longer could manage his life.
So I felt relief that at least the struggles had ended for these three figures.
Coincidentally I've been reading about King Solomon in my daily Bible reading. He was also a man of immense ability and superlative accomplishment. Yet at the end of his life he broke faith with his God.
His public life did not begin that way. He writes about it in Ecclesiastes. In the end there is one thing that matters.
So when I read the account of his death I felt the same feeling of relief.