It’s been a few weeks now.
Honestly, I’m still sad.
I keep thinking about this man, in pain, suffering from a massive addiction, alone in an elevator clutching a pill jar and dropping dead.
It’s tragic…regardless of who it is. No one should die like that…in such painful solitude….and not just the solitude of physically being alone in an elevator or room but the emotional and psychological isolation that chronic pain and addiction so often bring.
While the news cycle has pretty much moved on, there is still a regular trickle of headlines…the inmate claiming Prince was his dad, the strange details of the doctor Prince’s people called in and his son who found him dead.
Now I read that Prince’s primary physician has gone off the grid. No one at his office can confirm his whereabouts and he hasn’t been home in about a week. The theory is that this doctor may have been writing scripts to Prince under multiple names…or that perhaps he was just one of many doctors Prince was using to get enough pain killers to feed his addiction.
There’s the sickness of his sister and half-siblings ready to pick the bones.
Minnesota is trying to push legislation to protect future artists from having their legacies cashed in on by surviving relatives and of course Congress is batting about 19 bills to address opiate addiction and abuse in our country.
Meanwhile, many of us wait for the inevitable: the coroner’s report where we’ll be tortured with details about how he hadn’t eaten in god knows how long, partially digested pills in his stomach, weight loss etc etc.
It’s just tragic…and again, not just tragic because it’s Prince…but because it’s a person. So many people die because what began as simple medication got out of hand and our medical system and the patient’s support system failed to help them.
The fact that this happened to Prince, an otherwise clean-living, ambitious, intelligent, hyper-focused workaholic makes it all the more evident that this is not about junkies scoring to get high for the fun of it.
Unfortunately, much like with Robin Williams’ death, not much will happen.
The media turned a shade of purple for a few days, MTV went back to playing videos for an evening, Prince was a meme on Facebook for about a week and Purple Rain was covered by pretty much everyone…but has anything changed?
Has this elusive beast people refer to as “awareness” been risen?
Doesn’t look that way.
I’m sad because Prince is gone. I’m sad because I admired him. Even when he made music that wasn’t to my taste I recognized it as the work of a true genius. I never saw him perform live and I never will.
I’m also frustrated because it was just so damn unnecessary and that too many people just chalk it up to “oh well, he was another celebrity junkie” and too many people put addiction into some little basket where they put other inconvenient situations that are too hard, too scary, too complicated for them to deal with.