“My Death waits like an old Druid/So confident I know the way” (“My Death” David Bowie)
I used to wake up to the radio clock every morning. I am a child of the eighties, and that is how we roll. Some mornings, when I woke to a David Bowie song playing on the radio, I would smile and think “I am in bed with David Bowie!” and “I woke up with David Bowie”. More recently I wake to a different ‘alarm’ of sorts–my 11 month old son. Today of all days, would be a flashback to my pre-motherhood days as I woke to the voice of a local DJ mentioning the passing of David Bowie. I thought I was dreaming until my husband squeezed my hand. I moaned “no” as the ten year old me started mourn the voice and face that would help her navigate the trials of teenage, and adulthood angst. I woke up crying, sadly aware of how much quieter my world just got.
As many predicted Motherhood changed me, but to my great relief, it did not change my 30+ year love affair with my “other boyfriend”. In fact, just this past Saturday night, my son giggled as I sung “Kooks” to him while I readied him for bed. At the time I thought to myself in passing if David Bowie might smile if he knew there was someone singing that ‘celebratory hymn’ to their child forty some years after it was first written. Now, I am sadly processing the reality that I will never get to meet this amazing and compelling artist, and I will never be able to gush my heartfelt gratitude to him for sharing his art with the rest of the world.
Grief is an interesting thing. I was instantly angry at the chirpy young DJ who seemed so unaware of the gravity of her news bit. I was betting the young pup had to google David Bowie before she read her little news story. That would explain why this “classic rock” station I was listening to wasn’t playing any of his music in tribute. Instead, they were yammering on about the upcoming Black Sabbath Tour. Then it hit me: Ozzy Osborne outlived David Bowie….WTF?! I was thundering through the stages of grief with some efficiency.
I laid in bed a perfect mess. My husband got up, fed the cat (who knew better than to leave my side–bless his purring heart!), and unloaded the dishwasher. Our son, slept peacefully for a little while longer. In quiet reflection, I did my best to process, and to calm the ten year old me who sobbed softly. It all seemed so unreal. I had yet to get to the store to buy his latest album (no I didn’t download it–‘eighties child’ remember?). That would be his last album…no more tours…no more new albums…his son is my age…his daughter is still in high school…he’ll never meet his grandchildren…
I got out of bed when I heard my son stirring. His sweet smiling face reminded me of the richness of my life. Much to my chagrin, and despite all the times he heard Bowie music while in utero, our son loves Big Band music–Ray Anthony’s “Bunny Hop” being among his favorites. Today, however, during breakfast, he had to listen to David Bowie’s album Heathen. An album named in cheeky tribute to Peggy Jones, David Bowie’s mom (apparently she often used that term to describe ‘kids these days’). It was my strange way of having one foot in each of my two worlds: Bowie and Motherhood. I sang softly and fed my little boy. A part of me wonders if by some strange quirk of cosmic kismet Mr. Bowie’s new album will have a jazzy, big band sound. It wouldn’t surprise me somehow if it did.
I suspect Mr. Bowie has better things to do in the afterlife than to check out my blog, but maybe, just maybe, he will be able to hear my heartfelt sentiment in amongst this amazing, divine, consciousness we are all a part of. If so, Mr. Bowie: please know I am grateful for you, blessed to have found your contribution to the world, and will miss you, and your voice terribly. Love and Light to You Sir–Adieu.