They say that when your parents die the world turns very scary since it is all up to you after that. I had my share of trouble accepting the passing of my father and mother but three other death announcements caused me to tear up and reflect about passing time, mortality, and that small vacuum that was left in the world. The first was right after graduation from High School when I heard on the radio that a lovely young woman who was so friendly and nice and special was killed in a automobile accident with her brother and mother. This was the earliest time I was able to confront death as my own, almost-adult self. The second time was when I heard that Maria Callas had died. As you might imagine, I didn’t really know Callas, but I knew her singing and spent many hours listening to what might arguably be considered the greatest diva of my time. Just the loss to the world saddened me greatly and I was inevitably misty.
Now today I have another difficult and sad moment of my life: Annette is dead. Here’s the spot from the L A Times:
Annette Funicello, Mouseketeer and star of ‘beach’ movies, dies
Los Angeles Times | April 8, 2013 | 9:59 AM
Annette Funicello, who gained fame as a Mouseketeer on TV’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s, died today at 70.
Her status as a pop-culture icon was further cemented in the ’60s as she teamed with Frankie Avalon in a popular series of “beach” movies.
Funicello, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987 and became a spokeswoman for treatment of the disease, died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, the Walt Disney Co. announced.
It seems to me that this brackets an important part of life for me. When Sheila died while still a pleasant High School memory, I began to grow up and face the realities of life; Annette’s passing shows me the other end of the continuum and reminds me emphatically that so much of my life is a memory of yesterday and soon I too will be a memory.
But that’s Life.