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Why the passing of Luke Perry made us all gasp

Saira Valley

Posted on March 04 2019

Why the passing of Luke Perry made us all gasp

It isn't like I sit around the house dreaming of Luke Perry, to be honest, I haven't really thought about him in decades. Sure, his name popped up in discussions about Archie and of course 90210, but it isn't like he was the center of the social conversation in regards to pop culture, at least not these days

But, today when I read that he had died, I quite literally choked up. I felt tears running down my face, and I felt upset all afternoon. I told my sister, how silly I felt! It isn't like he was my friend, or even an actor I watched or sought out when new stuff was released. And yet, my heart broke today reading of his passing. 

Perhaps it was because he was so young, to die at 52 is just so deeply saddening. My mother died at that age, and now being 38 myself I realize how young that really is. You are just starting to figure out who you are, and be comfortable in your skin. Only to have your life cut short. 

Perhaps it was because it was sudden and without warning. My brother in law died in much the same way. Just driving down the street, and BAM. He suffered a massive stroke and passed away shortly after. 

Or, perhaps it was because Luke Perry represented something about our generation. He was the amazing bad boy/good boy who loved his girl with all his heart. We cherished the romance between him and Brenda, we rooted for him! Even when he was messed up, or making bad choices, he was just our guy! He was the TV crush for so many young ladies growing up not just in the USA, but overseas like me and my sister. He was THE American boy! The one so many of us dreamed would notice us, or ask us out to the school dance and then eventually become the boyfriend who would hold our hand down the halls. 

It wasn't just that he represented our aching teenage hearts, but I think it is also that as the generation that grew up watching him live out this teen to adult soap opera, we see ourselves in him. We see our brother, our boyfriend, our class mate, our best friend. He is us. And to read the words on the page, that this mirror and wish of our generation had died so suddenly, so tragically and so young, is just that painful reminder that we are temporary. It is all borrowed time isn't it? And if it can happen to Dylan, it can sure as hell happen to us. 

So today, I felt a deep sadness. For the loss of  a heartthrob of my generation. I felt a profound humility, that life is not to be taken for granted in the chaos of just making it and surviving. That would be such a waste, to be living to survive, rather than living with purpose, joy and intent. 

I remind myself of this so often. I KNOW all of this to be true, yet, I fall victim over and over again to the habits of routine and stress. To the grind of the everyday, and the monotony of just get it done. 

But today; today I got shaken. I got a bitch slap in the face reminding me that we are all incredibly special, and yet, not special at all. The clock ticks on no matter who you are, or what you do. So, I hope today I can really internalize in a good way this bitch slap. And be grateful for what I have rather than constantly chasing what I don't. Hug my kids a little longer before rushing off to check off my next box, kiss my husband more and tell him he is amazing. Make more time to live my life for myself rather than a dollar bill and a thing that in the end is just gonna get left behind when my clock runs out. 

Today, the world lost someone who didn't give us world peace, it isn't like he was Ghandi or moved mountains, or was a humanitarian hero. He was just a dude, who acted in some great shows and movies. But he was a dude who is all of us dudes (and dudettes.) He is someone that so SO many related to. So, in his passing I hope we relate again, and take this opportunity to be reminded that we have an amazing opportunity to love, to live, to be thankful and joyful, and we should hold on to that for as long as we can, as hard as we can. 

RIP Luke Perry. 

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