Dear Mr Bowie,
Today, in a moment of choked silence, it was announced that you had left us.
I don’t know what to say.
I didn’t know you personally. I wasn’t one of your most vocal fans. I wasn’t even alive at the height of your music career. But your death still strikes me as this strange and unbelievable thing, something I can’t quite wrap my head around. For your lungs, the very things powered your voice and allowed you to entrance us with your words, to give up on you, seems a terrible injustice.
You have always been there. Someone we talk and smile to ourselves about when your songs hit our radio. The voice that silences us for a few moments before we sing along.
I grew up with your music. I grew up on your duet with Freddie, the loud PRESSURE shouted with my sisters each time we heard the opening bars, with your Ziggy Stardust sparkle shining through playlists and my parents (often terrible) vocal accompaniments to your songs, with your rather tight tights in Labyrinth.
But I missed out on so much.
I never got to go to one of your shows. I never got to stand in line with a group of your fans and sing my heart out to Star Man or Space Oddity. I didn’t get to hear your voice spinning around on vinyl. I wasn’t there for some of your very best moments.
But I have had the opportunity to punctuate my life with your voice, your brilliant talent echoing around my room as I wrote or danced or smiled. I’ve heard you in the soundtrack to some of my very favourite movies. I’ve seen you immortalised in popular culture beyond even what your imagination could conjure up.
You bent genre. You bent gender. You bent all the rules. You changed us.
I wish I could say how grateful I am to you for imploring me to look upwards, towards the skies and challenge all the rules.
I wish I could say how much your music meant to all of us left behind.
I wish I could say how much you will be missed.
Most of all, I wish I could thank you for telling us we could be heroes. That is perhaps, for me at least, one of the best things you could have done. You told us we could step up and be whatever we wanted, we could stand tall and be heroes, even just for a day.
So thank you Mr Bowie, because to us, you will forever be a hero, a legend of music and vocal brilliance.
I wish you all the best for the life beyond. May you rest in a sky of stars as bright as you.
P.S. Please give my regards to Freddie.
© Hayley New 2016