As we recently mourned the anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, it got me thinking. Each year more and more celebrities are dying. Here are these talented and inspirational people dying left and right. Every year there’s a new shocking death that leaves people questioning: How did this happen? How did we not see this coming? Could something have prevented this? Is the true cost of fame death?
Tuesday night I turned to one of my favorite shows Rizzoli & Isles and was once again reminded of the death of Lee Thompson Young. I had almost forgotten he had taken his own life not too long ago. I knew him better as the Disney star Jet Jackson. I grew up on that show and it broke my heart to learn he killed himself. I don’t know what he went through or what was going through his mind at the time but was death the only option? Could he not turn to someone? Did no one truly see this coming? It breaks my heart how we place these celebrities so high up and we can’t do anything to help them when they truly need it.
Suicide isn’t Hollywood’s only problem. Drug overdose kills a majority of these stars. From Glee’s Cory Monteith to Philip Seymore Hoffman and Amy Winehouse to Whitney Houston, drugs claimed all of their lives. It’s seen all through history where drugs kill multitudes of people, especially celebrities. It seems fame turns celebrities to drugs to ease the stress and to help them perform. What starts as just a pick me up and ends with death. As fans, we are shocked to learn that these people we regarded so highly used drugs and died from them.
Though these deaths are hard for the fans, I sympathize for the families and friends. These are the people who witnessed the problems, the outbursts, and the destruction. They tried getting their loved ones help but they could only do so much. These are the people who suffer the most because as much as they wanted to save their loved one, they couldn’t. They grieved harder and suffered longer because they knew that one day death was a possibility and there was nothing else they could do. Fame may seem like a solo act but it pulls in a lot of people. Family and friends suffer the price of fame just as much as the star.
The saying “Be careful what you wish for” is ideal in this case. Fame may seem wonderful at first with the money and fans but the cost is so much greater than that. Stars have no privacy and no escape from the limelight. They try their hardest to keep everything together but in the end it’s get to them. They suffer silently while we cheer even louder. This drives them to take their own lives and to use and abuse drugs. In the end, fame isn’t worth the price. If death is all you get in the end, no thank you. We must remember that they were once like us. They lived a normal life and had normal problems too. Just because they’re famous, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to have a little of that normality back.