I was saddened this afternoon to see the report of the death of actor, Philip Seymour Hoffman. According to early reports, his death was “another drug overdose.” That is not inaccurate according to the police who report that he was found with the needle still stuck in his arm. I have seen the comments on Facebook. Just another druggie. ANOTHER DRUG OVERDOSE.
And I wonder….is THAT going to be the thing he will be remembered for? Like John Belushi? Janis Joplin? Elvis Presley? Will his last “gift” to us be something that we will label a failure? Something we will label of minimal importance because “he was another addict?” Will we really just brush this off as a matter of drug abuse?
Can we not slow down a bit, and contemplate what might have put him in the position of being a drug user? What was he like as a man? What did he have to deal with? I mean besides the expectation that all of us put upon actors to be better than their last role; on athletes to be better than their last game; on each other to be what WE expect of each other. I think, for people in the public eye, that it is probably a very narrow ledge to walk between maintaining your sanity and shoving a needle in your arm, and I am fairly certain that those of us who live our lives watching others walk that ledge…..walk our own ledge.
It is time for us to WAKE up. To see the “man behind the curtain.” To know that those who die from self inflicted drug abuse, suicide, fast cars, whatever…are human beings. Who by their very inherent HUMANITY…..deserve respect and some measure of understanding. Everyday, people….famous or not….far away or next door…everyday there is suffering disguised as drug abuse, physical abuse, isolation, alcoholism, and on and on and on.
Maybe its time for each of us to take a good look at ourselves. Because one day….it could be you. (Or me.) And I promise….to grieve for you…and to remember you were HUMAN.