David Bowie: Palliative Care Doctor Writes Letter

So much has been said about David Bowie since his recent death, that I didn’t think I had anything to add. While I certainly loved his music and associate Heroes, Ziggy Stardust and Space Oddity with my inimitable years at university, there were people who lived and breathed his music and philosophies far, far more than I. I was more of a by-stander simply listening to his music in the bar.

However, I been intrigued by how people have reacted to David Bowie’s death and how the death of a 69 year old man who has lead an incredible life could be perceived as a tragic loss, when sooner or later we all die. No one is immortal, not even Bowie. That said,  I am starting to wonder about HRH Queen Elizabeth. I’m sure the not so young Prince Charles must be wondering as well.

Anyway, in my usual manner of meandering through Google late at night like a blindfolded goat eternally sipping on that last cup of decaf tea, I stumbled across a tweet by Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s son. Duncan didn’t comment directly, but retweeted a link posted by the Marie Curie organisation to a letter from Dr. Mark Taubert, who wrote about how Bowie’s private cancer battle helped him ease the concerns of a dying patient.

A thank you letter to David Bowie from a palliative care doctor. http://bit.ly/1J73U4d  – thanks for sharing @DrMarkTaubert

 

Here’s a link to the letter.

For anyone living with a chronic or terminal illness, this letter raises some pertinent issues and gets you thinking.Then again, life has been described as a terminal disease and these issues are something for everyone to consider.

I didn’t know David Bowie personally or even from the perspective of analyzing and internalising his music and the meaning of his lyrics. I haven’t listened  to his last album either but it does sound like an effort to help people face their own deaths with less fear. He will be with them through to their very end, as well as his own.

Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to die? Is there eternal life or do we suddenly stop…reach the end? I can’t imagine being nothing. Not existing. Can’t really imagine being a spirit either although I’d rather fancy being an angel so I could park myself back in my old chair at home and watch over the family. I might even be more use as an angel. Who knows?

Well, now Bowie does. He’s “up there floating in his tin can, far above the world”.

We’ve always known that he’s had the answers and I guess that’s why so many of us lament his passing. We still have too many questions without answers and now that the great Ziggy Stardust has gone, who is going to answer them?

Who knows?

As much as people lament Bowie’s passing, it won’t take long for someone to fill his shoes.

Anyway, I’m going to leave the last word to astronaut Chris Hadfield who sang a variation of  Space Oddity on the Mir Space Station:

Something to think about…

xx Rowena

7 thoughts on “David Bowie: Palliative Care Doctor Writes Letter

  1. TanGental

    Nicely done Row. Personally I’m of the ‘we come from dust, we return to dust’ philosophy so anything else has to be a plus. But hey, if there are angels, see you on the other side

  2. Joanne Corey

    Thank you for bringing up these important issues. I do just want to make clear that palliative care specialists also help with pain control in patients who are not in the last months of life. They have been a big help to an elder in my family who has severe osteoporosis that has caused fractures.

  3. roweeee Post author

    Thanks for adding that, Joanne. That’s very good to know because as you could well imagine, I’ve run into a lot of people with chronic conditions or relatives in that spot and the more I know about what’s available the better. I’ve had fairly extensive rehab and found that very helpful for easing me back onto my feet. xx Rowena

  4. Joanne Corey

    Rehab and physical therapy are great resources to incorporate into plans dealing with chronic illness and pain. We found that it was helpful to have a palliative care specialist to help deal with the pain medications; they have so much more training than the family doctor. Physical therapy is part of my family member’s treatment, too.

  5. New Journey

    great post….finally read the letter everyone is talking about on the internet from Bowies MD….good letter….his music was wonderful and brings back memories of younger years….thanks for the post….kat

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