“Any man’s death diminishes me…”

23 Jan

 “… any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ~John Donne, 17th century poet and preacher, in Meditation XVII

Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger 1979 – 2008

I’m not big on movies the way my husband is. A’s undying passion for movies created our enduring family ritual of movie nights. In truth, rarely do I find myself purposefully seeking cinema as a way to spend my time, very much unlike the men in my life. As such, I have very little to say about movies or their stars or their stars’ often tumultuous lives.

This morning, however, I caught the early news broadcasts on CNN. Australian actor Heath Ledger passed away Tuesday afternoon in still inconclusive circumstances. Within an hour of being pronounced dead, the whole world was abuzz with the news. I worried most about his family, wherever they were. Under the dazzling lights of Hollywood, now turned a meticulously unforgiving glare on his bereaved loved ones, there is little time to be alone and to grieve for the man, the son, the father that Heath Ledger was.
I found this sobering piece on the Net- the only one that conveyed a sense of sobriety and compassion in a world that’s always hungry for the next big news. I echo the sentiment of this sensitively written piece: may his family be comforted with the thought that beyond the face that shone brightly under the klieg lights, Heath Ledger belonged to them alone.


The Who’s News Blog ( A daily look at all things celebrity)
By Lorrie Lynch
   with Kathy Rowings

January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger’s death belongs with family

In this era of instant communication it took one hour and 16 minutes this afternoon from the time Heath Ledger was found dead by a housekeeper until his death was announced to the world by the Associated Press. The journalist in me approves but the mother in me finds it unspeakably sad that Ledger’s family got so little time. One hour and 16 minutes is not long enough to be alone with your shock, your grief and your questions, or to hold tight the others in your circle who care for the man as a son, a friend, a father, not just as the actor, the talent.

In just two hours after his death, Ledger’s obituary was ready with a list of his credits and his girlfriends but, of course, no cause of death or any reasonable explanation for why  a man with extraordinary ability to act on screen and a two-year-old daughter to brighten his life would wind up dead on a dreary Tuesday afternoon in January.

There are lots of questions to consider in the days ahead and an autopsy tomorrow might begin to answer them. I’m as curious as the rest of those who followed his life and his work. I thought he was brilliant in I’m Not There and looked forward to seeing his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. But tonight, I’m sorry  his family can’t have him to themselves.


One Response to ““Any man’s death diminishes me…””

  1. leira January 23, 2008 at 9:35 pm #

    nakakalungkot kasi bata pa sya.. there are many speculations pero personally i think its bangungungot. Kasi according to them its not drug related and yet di malaman kung ano..i might be in denial.. pero sayang talaga..

    It’s always a great loss when such a young life is lost. When you extrapolate into what his future might be, you instantly feel huge regret at the potential of a life unfulfilled. I said a prayer for him last night, and for his little girl who will never know him. ~♥Kittymama

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