"Usually I am not that affected by a celebrity's death" is a phrase that came up in some responses to David Bowie passing away.
When it hit the news on Monday, it left me lost for words for a while as well.
As one does nowadays it is comforting to have so many friends so close at hand through social media and to share our emotions. And my mum and brother send me text-massages, so sweet.
It became evident that for a lot of people this was also so much more than a famous person dying.
There have been other singers that truly touched my heart who've passed away. And usually I thought "ah, that is very sad" and played some songs. But this time it was different.
For family and friends a death leaves a giant hole. No more moments to talk with someone, to hold someone.
But why are we so affected by losing someone we never even met in real life?
Since the release of The Next Day and seeing the "David Bowie Is" exhibit in London Bowie had been more in the centre of my attention again. And I had already booked 2 visits to the exhibit in Groningen. On top of that I saw Sven Ratke's Starman show recently. The release of Blackstar. 2016 was going to be a David Bowie year.
But it was even more than all of that together.
The odd thing was that on Monday I felt the loss, but at the same time I felt he was still present. As Tilda Swinton said at the opening of the V&A exhibit :
"And how familiar and stamped you are into ALL of our our collective DNA".
At first I had been sharing YouTube video's on Facebook to commemorate my favourite songs. But when I turned of the computer and stood in front of my CD collection to pick out a David Bowie album to play it hit me big time.
I glanced across all those other bands and singers that had guided me through lonely teenage years and struggling twenties: The Cure, Nick Cave, The Smiths, The Virgin Prunes / Gavin Friday, The The, Siouxsie and the Banshees...
And I realized the huge inspiration David Bowie was to all of my favourite artists. Without David Bowie most of these records would have not sounded as they did now. Maybe some artists wouldn't even have been in music now!
And that's when I understood my broken-heartedness.